The federal government opens 46,000 square kilometers for offshore oil and gas exploration

The federal government will allow the oil and gas industry to explore new offshore sites covering 46,758 square kilometers of Commonwealth waters.

In a video addressed to the NT Resources Week conference in Darwin, Resources Minister Madeleine King said the launch covered 10 areas in the Bonaparte, Browse, Carnarvon and Gippsland basins.

Locations are off the coast of the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Victoria, and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

“The annual release of areas for offshore oil exploration supports ongoing investment in the nation’s oil sector, which is vital to the economy and to meeting the energy needs of Australians,” he said.

“While we strive to reduce emissions, it must be emphasized that continued exploration for oil and gas in Commonwealth waters is critical to alleviating future domestic gas shortages.”

King looks serious and gestures from a lectern while wearing a colorful shirt, with blue curtains behind her.
Resources Minister Madeleine King recently said the gas industry’s social license was on the decline.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

The news was welcomed by those attending the resource conference in Darwin, but beyond that it has been met with disbelief.

“Labor like to talk a lot about the climate, but when it really matters, they will do exactly what their fossil fuel donors demand,” Greens senator Peter Whish-Wilson tweeted.

Greenhouse Gas Storage Permits

The government also today granted new “greenhouse gas storage permits” to some of Australia’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The permits will allow Woodside Energy and Inpex to move forward with offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

“I want to see the industry turn its CCS ambition into reality, I want the industry to turn its CCS conversation into action,” said Ms. King.

“Everyone in this audience today understands how important this is for the social license of the sector, but it’s much more than that, because getting CCS right is important for the whole world to reach net zero emissions.”

Minister King said approval of an “offshore greenhouse gas storage area” in the Gulf of Bonaparte near Darwin would help boost plans for a Darwin carbon capture storage and use facility. .

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NT Resources Week: Interview with Bill Townsend of Inpex

Inpex corporate vice president Bill Townsend said CCS would play an important role in the company’s future.

“One of the ways we seek to reduce the carbon footprint of our Ichthys LNG [project in Darwin] it’s through CCS,” he said.

“What we propose to do is capture CO2 and funnel it about 270 kilometers from Darwin and inject it back into the ground where it came from.”

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