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Northern Territory

Industry News

  • 13 Dec 2021 12:37 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Central Australia Hydrogen Project Awarded Major Project Status

    An off-grid hydrogen project in Central Australia is building momentum, with the Northern Territory Government announcing it has gained Major Project Status.

    The Desert Bloom Hydrogen project is a staged commercial-scale green hydrogen operation. It has the potential to grow to a $15 billion project, and deliver around 410,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen for domestic and international export markets.

    Water is a precious resource and a sustainable water source is critical to development of renewable hydrogen projects in the Territory. This technology provides an innovative solution for securing a sustainable water source for the production of renewable hydrogen in Central Australia. The technology works by capturing water from the atmosphere in arid environments

    The project is backed by Sanguine Impact Investment, which has committed $1 billion required for the project’s initial stages, and to provide the capital to roll out the full project.

    Depending on how the project rollout is sequenced, it is expected that at its peak, more than 1,000 full-time jobs will be required for construction, both in Darwin and on-site in multiple locations, and more than 120 full-time jobs will be created to operate and maintain the project. 

    Construction for the first stage of the project will require approximately 100 full-time construction jobs, and 6 full-time jobs for ongoing operations.

    The next steps of this project include the Territory Government working with Desert Bloom Hydrogen to develop the staged project to its potential export scale, including identifying suitable land in Central Australia to harness solar energy and ensuring adherence to standard best practice regulatory processes and approvals.

    Awarding of Major Project Status follows the company’s 12 week trial in the Barkly earlier this year.

    The Government’s Northern Territory Hydrogen Masterplan outlines the Territory’s competitive advantages and how the Territory will leverage these advantages to be a centre of hydrogen technology research, production and use in Australia.

    Desert Bloom Hydrogen’s proponent, Aqua Aerem, an innovative Australian and internationally owned company that is closely aligned with the nation’s push to drive new technology and accelerate the development of the domestic hydrogen industry. The project’s scale and ambition matches that of the Territory Government. 


    Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

    “Being the comeback capital means creating more jobs in more places in the Territory – and Desert Bloom now marks the Territory’s first Hydrogen Major Project. 

    “We are supporting a world-leading renewable hydrogen project, in technology that captures water from the atmosphere in arid environments. 

    “With one of the best solar resources in the world – and the development of projects like Desert Bloom – the Territory will play a leading role in the emerging renewable hydrogen market.”


    Quotes from Minister for Renewables and Energy, Eva Lawler:

    “The Territory Labor Government supports hydrogen technology in the Territory. With its potential to expand to a $15 billion project, Desert Bloom  will further champion renewable hydrogen investment as part of the Territory’s transition to renewables – this is laid out in our Hydrogen Masterplan.

    “The Desert Bloom Hydrogen technology provides an innovative approach to secure a sustainable water supply, which is an essential in the development of renewable hydrogen and will be particularly valuable in arid areas.

    “As renewable hydrogen technologies are continuously evolving, having projects like this in the Territory is further cementing the Territory as a renewables super hub, while also creating long term jobs in the process.”


    Quotes from Aqua Aerem CEO Gerard Reiter:

    “This is proven technology that is ready to produce green hydrogen at commercial scale by 2023 with no impact on our water supplies. Desert Bloom will produce 410,000 metric tons of green hydrogen annually for export and domestic use when at full scale.

    “The NT is the perfect place for this project, with the best solar conditions in the world, existing infrastructure that can be repurposed for hydrogen, and a strategic location close to the big Asian demand centres. On top of that, the NT Government has a big vision for a hydrogen-powered jobs boom that we are proud to be part of.”


    Quote from Major Project Commissioner Jason Schoolmeester:

    “Desert Bloom Hydrogen presents an exciting opportunity to accelerate the Territory’s hydrogen industry - production, supply and service, and research and training. 

    “The provision of renewable power to our regional industries including mining and agribusinesses, will provide a competitive advantage in a world that is increasingly focused on sustainable supply chains.”

    Source: NTG Newsroom

  • 10 Dec 2021 11:26 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    The Federal Government has announced five new areas in Australia’s waters will be made available for exploring offshore greenhouse gas storage opportunities. 

    Minister for Resources and Water, Keith Pitt, said the bidding round opened on the 6 December for the 2021 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release, which is centred around prospective locations offshore Northern Territory and Western Australia.

    “This is Australia’s first greenhouse gas acreage release since 2014 and it provides a pathway for future carbon capture and storage projects,” Mr Pitt said. 

    “The Government is committed to reducing emissions through the use of technology, not taxes or impositions on business, while also ensuring that our industries remain strong.

    “Australia has the capacity to continue to be an energy export leader, at the same time as providing a regional hub for the storage of greenhouse gas.”

    Mr Pitt said that carbon capture, use and storage is one of the priority technologies the Federal Government is developing, and that the proximity to gas fields and existing infrastructure provides opportunities for industry partnership and collaboration, further industrial development and the creation of jobs.

    “All 2021 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Storage Acreage Release areas are based on industry nominations and were subject to public consultation. The government is responding positively to real industry demand for CCS – a technology that we are supporting,” Mr Pitt said. 

    Work program bids are to be submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator between Friday 4 March 2022 to Thursday 10 March 2022.

    Maps for the 2021 Offshore Greenhouse Gas Acreage Release, public consultation comments and information on the bidding process can be found here. 


  • 09 Dec 2021 3:28 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Santos today announced it had signed a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) to sell a 12.5 per cent interest in the Barossa project to an Australian subsidiary of JERA Co., Inc. (JERA).

    The effective date of the sale of the Barossa interest is 31 March 2020 and completion is expected in the first half of 2022. Upon completion, JERA will reimburse Santos for its share of capital expenditure on the project from the effective date to completion, with the total consideration due to Santos at completion expected to be approximately US$300 million.

    JERA is an existing partner in Darwin LNG with a 6.1 per cent interest. The signing of the SPA further builds partner alignment between the Darwin LNG and Barossa joint ventures for the development and processing of Barossa gas through the Darwin LNG facilities.

    The Barossa project took a final investment decision in March 2021 and is progressing on schedule and budget for first LNG in the first half of 2025. The project comprises a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, subsea production wells, supporting subsea infrastructure and a gas export pipeline tied into the existing Bayu-Undan to Darwin LNG pipeline.

    Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said he was delighted to sign the agreement with JERA and welcome them as a partner in the Barossa project.

    “JERA is a long-standing partner and customer at Darwin LNG. We are delighted to have finalised our agreement with JERA consistent with the terms of the Letter of Intent that was agreed shortly after the announcement of the acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ interests in Barossa. I welcome JERA as a partner in the Barossa project and look forward to continuing to build on the important long-term relationship between our two companies.”

    “Barossa is one of the lowest cost, new LNG supply projects in the world and will provide Santos and our partners with a competitive advantage in a tightening global LNG market.”

    “Santos is also progressing the carbon capture and storage (CCS) opportunity at Bayu-Undan in the Timor Sea, which could provide a CCS hub for projects in the region, including Barossa,” Mr Gallagher said.

    JERA Corporate Vice President and Managing Executive Officer Yukio Kani said Barossa is a good LNG investment in Australia for the company at this time.

    “JERA is keen to partner with quality Australian and international partners like Santos and SK E&S, and our investment decision-making processes reflect decades of experience in the international LNG market,” he said.

    Mr Kani said “Barossa works well as part of our strategy to secure ongoing and reliable LNG supplies and the agreement reflected the ongoing global importance of LNG as a transitional fuel. In addition, JERA will also work with its partners to study the development of zero-emission projects and to evaluate CCS projects. Through these initiatives, JERA will evaluate opportunities for the reduction of CO2 emissions from the Barossa project with the partners.”

    At completion, which is subject to customary consents, regulatory approvals and JERA entering into binding financing arrangements, the participants in the Barossa project will be Santos (50 per cent and operator), SK E&S (37.5 per cent) and JERA (12.5 per cent).

    The participants in Darwin LNG are Santos (43.4 per cent and operator), SK E&S (25 per cent), INPEX (11.4 per cent), Eni (11 per cent), JERA (6.1 per cent) and Tokyo Gas (3.1 per cent).


    Santos agrees sale of 12.5% interest in Barossa project to JERA


  • 03 Dec 2021 1:22 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Empire Energy has completed the drilling of the CarpentariaI-2H vertical section to a total depth of 1835 m by Silver City Rig 40, located in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.

    Across the four stacked Velkerri Foundation pay zones, the well has encouraged thick liquids rich gas shales.

    Strong gas also shows across the target formations and live gas bleeding from core samples.

    Interpretation of well logs shows a strong correlation in thickness and rock characteristics of the four stacked shale targets to the Carpentaria-1 location.

    Target shales are 240 m deeper compared to Carpentaria-1, which is consistent with pre-drill seismic interpretation.

    Empire’s managing director Alex Underwood said the company was delighted with the drilling results.

    “Results reinforce our modelling of strong continuity of the Velkerri’s liquids rich gas target shales with a strong match with the Carpentaria-1 location 11km away, albeit 240m deeper at Carpentaria-2,” Underwood said.

    “Increased depth is likely to support increased flow rates while maintaining a cost advantage over deeper drilling.”

    Underwood said the drilling for the horizontal section of Carpentaria-2H has started.

    “[It is] our first ever horizontal well, targeting the Velkerri B shale, which was the strongest contributor to gas production of the four target formation in the Carpentaria-1 vertical flow test,” he said.

    Empire is targeting the Middle Velkerri B shale in the next round of drilling.

    The announcement follows the recent increase in flow rates for the company’s CarpentariaI-1 well in the same permit area.

    CarpentariaI-2H will be suspended over the wet season after the drilling, casing and cementing of the horizontal section, which will be underway in the coming weeks.

    Source: Oil & Gas Today

  • 02 Dec 2021 3:00 PM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Beetaloo Regional Reference Group - Meeting Four Communique

    Date: Tuesday, 16 November 2021

    Attendees: nominated representatives of Northern Land Council, Sturt Plateau Best Practice Group, Barkly Regional Council, NT Farmers Association, Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security (DEPWS) staff, and Department of Chief Minister staff.

    Apologies: Sunrise Health, Territory Resource Services Association, Territory Natural Resource Management, Katherine Town Council and Roper Gulf Regional Council.


    The Beetaloo Regional Reference Group (BRRG) is a consultative forum for community views regarding, and providing input into, the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) studies within the Beetaloo Region.

    Presentations from SREBA study teams

    • Social, cultural and economic studies
    • Terrestrial ecosystems
    • Methane and greenhouse gas studies
    • Aquatic ecosystems.

    Discussion on presentations

    • Consultation should occur on the Data Management Strategy development and implementation. Dedicated meeting to be scheduled by the chair when a draft strategy is available.
    • SCE workshops should be held in the region (Katherine at least). UQ to investigate options for this.

    Progress and updates

    • Draft environmental health scope of works currently under review by specialists from key organisations.
    • Cancellation of face-to-face meetings will be replaced where possible by virtual, phone and email communication.
    • Online SREBA update will be held on 30 November 2021. Recording of this update to be broken into segments and shared on the web.

    Other business

    Meeting schedule for 2022 to be determined out of session.

    Please direct all correspondence to:
    Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation Taskforce
    GPO Box 4396, Darwin NT 0801
    T 08 8999 6573

  • 01 Dec 2021 11:30 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Central Petroleum has signed a new ‘firm’ gas supply agreement (GSA) for up to 3.15 pjs of gas to the Northern Territory’s Power and Water Corporation (PWC).

    This is via a back-to-back GSA with Macquarie Mereenie (MM) and is a four-year contract.

    The back-to-back GSA with MM is in support of a master GSA which has been initially entered between MM and PWC as the end customer.

    The company’s gas plans to be combined with existing gas supply owned by MM, which includes NZOG and Cue.

    As a result, a total 12.6 pls to PWC will be supplied.

    With take-or-pay provisions, the GSA is a fixed price subject to annual CPI escalation.

    Following the 2021 Mereenie development campaign, the GSA commercialises a portion of the increased production purchased online.

    The 2021 campaign administered two new production wells to be drilled and four existing wells to be recompleted.

    Central will be conducting joint marketing authorisation by The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) soon.

    The company plans to facilitate larger amounts being supplied from the MM field with the joint marketing.

    Under the GSA, ex-field pricing exhibits strong market conditions, thus Central is expecting this will have a positive impact on the company’s average portfolio gas price throughout the next 4 years.

    As Central will deliver gas directly into the Amadeus Gas Pipeline from either the Mereenie or Palm Valley delivery points, no gas transportation is required under the GSA.

    This follows the announcement in September that New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) has agreed purchased interests in Central Petroleum in three producing Northern Territory assets.

    From 2022, Central is continuing marketing additional gas for sale.

    Source: Oil & Gas Today

  • 30 Nov 2021 11:30 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Tamboran’s T3H drilling program complete

    Tamboran Resources and Santos have completed the CY2021 drilling program of the Tanumbirini 3H (T3H) well in EP 161 in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

    The Beetaloo Sub-basin is located within the Greater McArthur Basin in the Northern territory.

    T3H has been cased and cemented successfully, whist the Easternwell Rig 106 has been demobilised and moved off the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

    Tamboran managing director and CEO Joel Riddle said the program was managed safely, with no incidents occurring.

    “[This is] a testament to the excellent leadership and unwavering commitment to health, safety and environment by the rig crew,” Riddle said.

    Riddle said the EP 161 joint venture will now test the productivity of each well.

    “[This is] with approximately 10 stages of fracture stimulations per well in the target formation of the Mid-Velkerri ‘B’,” he said.

    “Initial flow test results are expected in December 2021.”

    “Key learnings” as well as knowledge have been provided by the The CY2021 drilling program in EP 161, Riddle added.

    “We intend to incorporate [these learnings] into the drilling of the 100 per cent owned and operated Maverick 1H, located in EP 136, during CY2022,” he said.

    Tamboran Resources Limited is a natural gas company planning to have a constructive role in the global energy transition to a lower carbon future.

    The company is accomplishing this through the development of low Co2 unconventional natural gas resources in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

    The announcement comes after Tamboran secured $20 million from founder, chairman and chief executive of US Permian Basin independent Parsley Energy Bryan Sheffield.

    Santos is Australia’s second-largest independent oil and gas producer.

    Source: Oil & Gas Today

  • 14 Nov 2021 7:26 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Falcon Oil & Gas releases it's preliminary petrophysical interpretation of the Velkerri-76 wireline logs.

    View full announcement

  • 08 Nov 2021 8:36 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Carpentaria-2H Drilling Commences 

    Empire Energy Group Limited (“Empire”) is pleased to announce that it has started drilling the C-2H well in Empire’s 100% owned and operated EP187, located in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, Northern Territory.

    The C-2H well is located 11 kilometres north of the successful Carpentaria-1 well and on the same 2D seismic line. C-2H is targeting the same middle Velkerri Formation shale units as Carpentaria-1 although mapped over 200 metres deeper.

    With the additional depth, greater formation pressure and a moderately drier gas composition is anticipated. The continuity of the shale markers within the seismic section between the two well locations provide confidence in the depth prognosis at C-2H.

    After completion of drilling and formation evaluation, C-2H will be cased and suspended prior to rig release. Empire’s technical team will then analyse the results and plan the C-2H fracture stimulation and flow testing program to be undertaken following the wet season.

    Click here to view full ASX release

    Source: Empire Energy

  • 05 Nov 2021 8:00 AM | Stephanie Berlin (Administrator)

    Following a positive COVID-19 case in the Northern Territory, parts of the NT have gone into a lockdown or a lockout.

    Effective from 12.01am, 5 November 2021, the Municipality of Katherine including Tindal  entered into a full lockdown for 72 hours.

    As a result of high vaccination rates in the Greater Darwin Region, the below areas entered into a lockout for 72 hours. This means fully-vaccinated people are able to continue to live as normal within the following Local Government Areas:

    • City of Darwin
    • City of Palmerston
    • Litchfield Council
    • Wagait Shire
    • Belyuen Shire
    • Dundee
    • Bynoe
    • Charlotte
    • Cox Peninsula

    Lockdown details for Katherine

    Residents must stay at home for the lockdown period and are only permitted to leave for the following five reasons:

    1. Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination

    2. For essential goods and services, like groceries and medications

    3. For work that is considered essential

    4. For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5 km from your home with one other person or people from your house

    5. To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.

    Vaccinated and unvaccinated essential workers can go to work in both Katherine and Darwin. Only vaccinated essential workers are allowed to leave the area for work.

    Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home.

    All businesses, retail outlets, hospitality venues, gyms, pools and community centres are closed. Cafes and restaurants are able to offer take-away and delivery services.

    Schools will be closed except for the children of vaccinated essential workers. Childcare centres will open only for the children of vaccinated essential workers.

    Lockout details for Greater Darwin

    From 12.01am, 5 November 2021, fully vaccinated residents are able to live normally within the lockout area. Everyone must wear a mask outside of their home. Unvaccinated residents, including those people who have received only their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, must stay at home for the 72 hour lockout period and are only permitted to leave for the following four reasons:

    1. Medical treatment, including COVID testing or vaccination

    2. For essential goods and services, like groceries and medications

    3. For work that is considered essential and can't be done at home

    4. For one hour of outdoor exercise a day within 5km from your home with one other person or people from your house

    5. To provide care and support to a family member or person who cannot support themselves.

    Vaccinated and unvaccinated essential workers can go to work in both Katherine and Darwin. Only vaccinated essential workers are allowed to leave the area for work.

    Schools in Greater Darwin will remain open and children who are 16 years and under will be treated in the same way as fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated parents are permitted to drop their child off at school or childcare but are not permitted to enter school grounds or childcares centres.

    Businesses and organisations are obligated to ensure employees, customers, visitors and participants are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people may access essential services only including supermarkets, hospitals or to get takeaway food.

    Anyone caught breaching CHO Directions – including not wearing a mask – face a $5,000 fine.

    Police have established interception points to control travel in and out of these lockdown and lockout areas.

    Territorians in the lockdown and lockout areas should not travel unless it is for one of the essential reasons.

    If you have symptoms, you are urged to get tested and stay isolated until you receive a negative result.

    Book your COVID-19 test online at

    It is critical all Territorians get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can book online or call the COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 490 484.

    Close location alerts and public exposure sites

    Last updated: 05 November 2021

    Source: NT Government Newsroom

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