Energy Hub on Northern Territory Agenda

The Northern Territory is continuing to show signs that it will emerge as Australia’s next international oil and gas hub.

In the past decade, the industry in the sparsely populated territory has experienced substantial growth, firstly through the successful commissioning of ConocoPhillips’ Darwin LNG plant in 2006, and more recently, with commencement of work on the Ichthys LNG project at Blaydin Point.

The next target for the Northern Territory is to maximize its share of contracts that will support Shell Australia’s Prelude floating LNG project off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

At 488 meters long and 74 meters wide, while weighing more than 600,000 tonnes, the Prelude FLNG facility is the largest structure that will ever be sent to sea.

The NT is already a key part of the project, with Shell on course to complete construction of a $25 million onshore supply base near Darwin later this year.

According to Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the NT Government, “Shell Australia will require around 200 contracts to support the Prelude FLNG for approximately 25 years of operation.

“These contracts will be awarded over the next two years with $200 million to be spent in Australia each year of operations.”

The NT Government is using the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference in Perth this week to pursue development of the territory as an oil and gas hub.

“The Northern Territory has firmly established its place as a key processing and service centre for the offshore oil and gas industry,” Giles said

“We are keen to build on this solid base, as well as expanding new opportunities for the development of an onshore gas industry.”

As part of this, the NT Government announced the proposed reform of a construction industry scheme which will aim to expand eligibility of workers while reducing financial burdens.

The proposal delighted APPEA Chief Executive Officer David Byers, who said the reform would make the NT more attractive for oil and gas investment.

“The changes proposed by the NT Government for major projects will reduce the scheme’s cost to business while improving workers’ entitlements. This is a win-win outcome for everyone because more investment in the Territory means more jobs,” Byers said.     


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