Australia : Government secures WA's future energy supply [TendersInfo (India)]Al Bawaba Ltd.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett today announced that the Natural Gas (Canning Basin Joint Venture) Agreement had been signed by the State Government with joint venture partners, Buru Energy Limited and Mitsubishi Corporation.
The State Government will also legislate to facilitate the continued exploration for natural gas in the remote Canning Basin, the development of a gas pipeline to the Pilbara and ensure Western Australian consumers have first use of any gas discovered.
Mr Barnett said there was enormous potential for natural gas in the arid, 530,000sqkm Canning Basin, which stretched from the coast between Port Hedland and Broome, to the State s eastern border.
Last year, the US Energy Information Administration estimated the Canning Basin unconventional gas resources at about 229 trillion cubic feet, which is about one and a half times WA s currently identified offshore resources.
This agreement will help secure Western Australia s energy supplies for the future, the Premier said.
It ensures gas discoveries are rapidly brought into production, and that gas is delivered to the State s domestic gas network, before any is exported.
Mr Barnett said natural gas provided about 50 per cent of the State s domestic electricity generation, and contributed to the production of key resource exports including iron ore, alumina, base metals and gold.
Future development of energy-intensive magnetite production in the Pilbara and the Mid-West and other value-adding and advanced manufacturing opportunities in the State, will benefit considerably from an expansion of WA s domestic gas supply sources, he said.
Natural gas is also an ideal partner for the State s growing renewable energy production as a back-up in times of adverse weather conditions and peak demand.
The Premier said the agreement provided additional security of tenure for 17,000sqkm (1.7 million hectares) covered by five exploration permits held by the joint venture. These permits anchor the joint venture s Canning Basin Domestic Gas Project, with the agreement facilitating further targeted gas exploration in these permits and the development of a pipeline to transport gas south to existing industrial areas.
The agreement also provides for potential future gas supply for gas export once the Domestic Gas Project is under development.
If commercially viable gas resources are discovered, by mid-2016 the partners will be required to submit a plan for construction of the domestic gas project, including a pipeline connecting to the existing State gas network in the Pilbara, Mr Barnett said.