APPEA Urges Australia's NT to Invest in Onshore Gas Projects, Create Jobs

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) urged the state government of Australia's Northern Territory to invest in onshore gas projects to create new jobs for the economy, the industry body's South Australia/Northern Territory Director Matthew Doman said Wednesday.

APPEA noted that the Northern Territory (NT) budget handed down Tuesday highlighted the need for new investment in onshore gas projects to arrest a projected decline in taxation and royalty revenues in the state.

The Northern Territory has benefited from the economic boom in recent years, which arose largely from construction activity linked to Japan's Inpex Corp.-operated $34 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Darwin, but Doman pointed out that new oil and gas projects were needed as the LNG development transitioned from construction to production phase, now scheduled for end September 2017.

“While Ichthys will deliver ongoing benefits to the Territory for decades to come, it’s clear that the NT economy needs the new jobs and investment that onshore gas can deliver,” Doman said in the press release.

“The Budget papers show that without new investment, taxation and royalty revenue to the NT Government will stagnate.”

The APPEA executive referred to an independent research undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics last year which concluded that developing the Northern Territory’s substantial shale gas resource had the potential to create up to 6,300 new long-term jobs and generate up to $331 million (AUD 460 million) a year in additional revenue for the NT Government.

Doman commented that “the solution is simple ... the Territory has abundant onshore natural gas that can be safely and sustainably developed.”

“Not only will shale gas provide a valuable new source of revenue for government, it will create new jobs, investment and opportunities in regional centres and remote Aboriginal communities.”

Doman said the commitment of $360,000 (AUD 500,000) to examine the feasibility of converting gas into synthetic diesel was another example of the Northern Territory seeking to benefit from its onshore gas resource.

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