Santos Ltd., Adelaide, in joint venture with Shell Australia, Melbourne, has been appointed preferred tenderer to explore a new permit in southeast Queensland’s Surat and Bowen basins.
The permit, PLR201718-2-5, covers 400 sq km and lies 19 km east of Surat. It was released by the Queensland government specifically to boost local gas supply on Australia’s east coast.
The acreage is immediately south of the major Wallumbilla hub enabling the joint venture to take advantage of existing infrastructure in the event of a discovery. This will lower development costs and accelerate delivery to the domestic gas market.
Santos, which will be operator in the 50-50 JV with Shell, says exploration in the new permit will target deep sandstone reservoirs in the Bowen basin that underlie the Surat basin sediments.
Santos is no stranger to the region and has reduced connected well costs in Queensland by 84% since 2015. The company is on track to supply about 70 petajoules of gas to Australia’s east coast this year, equating to about 13% of expected demand.