PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Northern Territory government has celebrated the 47% increase in oil and gas exploration in the state, which has grown to its highest rate in 18 months.
Companies spent a total of A$34.8-million on oil and gas exploration, marking the first significant upturn in exploration since the global oil price plunge in 2014.
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said on Wednesday that the growth was a strong sign that confidence was returning to the sector.
“The oil and gas sector already employs more than 3 000 South Australians, but this new activity shows the industry has the potential to grow further in this state.”
The growth in exploration was driven primarily by the commencement of drilling at ten new wells in the Cooper basin.
“Rather than ban gas, the state government is partnering with gas companies to extract more gas and supply it to local generators first, because more gas and greater competition between generators will drive down power prices in South Australia,” Koutsantonis said.
The state government in October announced a A$24-million grant programme to help gas companies to extract more gas and supply it to South Australia electricity generators in order to put downward pressure on power prices.