Getting back on the ground in the Beetaloo

6 September 2018

The tremendously prospective Beetaloo Basin has the potential to be a game-changer for the Australian gas industry and the Northern Territory as a major new source of supply.

The Beetaloo Basin, located six hours’ drive south of Darwin near the town of Daly Waters, is a 18,500km2 area which may contain a material new gas resource for Australia’s east coast gas market. The Beetaloo has similar characteristics in area and quality to the Marcellus Shales in the US, which now represents around a quarter of all US gas production.

The Beetaloo is shale gas, so different to both conventional gas sources and Queensland gas which is contained in coal seams.

After the moratorium on fracking was lifted by the NT Government earlier this year following a thorough scientific inquiry, Origin has been preparing to get back on the ground to complete two appraisal wells in 2019. We are currently working with the Territory government as it seeks to implement all 135 recommendations of the scientific inquiry.

Although the project is still in the early stages, local communities have already benefitted, with Origin’s operations helping generate jobs and grow local businesses. It will ultimately improve roads and other infrastructure if further exploration and appraisal is successful and the project progresses to development.

Origin has agreements with host traditional owners and pastoralists, as well as with local companies and suppliers who have already and will continue to work on the project.

Triple P, a local 100 per cent Aboriginal owned and operated business from Elliot, has had a contract with the Beetaloo exploration project since 2017, monitoring and maintaining our well sites.

In a success case, if the Beetaloo project enters full production, all Territorians would be able to share in the economic prosperity via royalties delivered to the government.

Origin’s Beetaloo project could bring important employment opportunities to the Territory economy, eventually supporting around 950 ongoing jobs after construction and ramp up.

Head of Integrated Gas Mark Schubert told NT Resources Week in Darwin in September that the project had the potential to be a game-changer for the Territory.

“What really underpins successful projects, what really drives benefits for families and communities, what really drives prosperous economies - is jobs,” he said.