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The Queensland Government has given local energy company Comet Ridge approval to proceed with a new Bowen Basin project to make more gas for the domestic market.

Queensland Resources Minister, Scott Stewart, said Comet Ridge has been granted an Authority to Prospect over a 338km2 parcel of land located in the gas-rich Bowen Basin.

“In the last 12 months, the Palaszczuk Government has approved ten new Authority to Prospect – half of which (1,447km2 of new land) have a domestic gas condition which requires any gas that’s found to stay in Australia,” Mr Stewart said.

“The new ATP allows Comet Ridge to begin exploration for new sources of gas while utilising their existing gas infrastructure in the region to plug straight in and get gas to market faster.

“The new Mahalo Far East project will invest about $5.5 million over six years into the state and local economies.

“Supporting exploration in Queensland and maintaining a pipeline of resources projects means more gas for local industry and more jobs.

“The resources industry has been essential during the COVID-19 global pandemic and will help continue Queensland’s economic recovery.”

Comet Ridge Managing Director, Tor McCaul, said the Mahalo Far East block contains a very large gas in place volume and is an important upside addition to the Mahalo Hub area.

“Combining these blocks and sharing one large development for the whole Mahalo Hub area will provide greater efficiency and scale economy, as well as a material injection of gas into the east coast market, at a critical time,” Mr McCaul said.

“Importantly, a proportion of this Mahlo Hub gas is earmarked for the domestic market.”

Since 2015, the Queensland Government has released more than 80,000km2 of land for gas exploration with almost a quarter of it guaranteed for the Australian domestic market.

The Queensland Government is also investing $5 million to investigate the feasibility of a physical 500km gas transmission pipeline to connect the Bowen Basin to the domestic and export markets.

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