A NEW Queensland-based company has been given the green light to explore for coal seam gas on prospective land in the state’s Bowen and Surat basins.

AusGasCo, one of the newest players in the Queensland’s gas sector, has been appointed preferred tenderer for two blocks located to the east and south-east of Injune which totalling 114 square kilometres.

The company is chaired by Frank Connolly, a former board member and director of Queensland Gas Company (now Shell QGC) and former consultant for Senex Energy, according to LinkedIn.

Operations manager is Brent Glassborow, a former QGC geologist who later worked for its former parent company BG Group.

The tender announcement was made by resources minister Scott Stewart, who said the Palaszczuck Government was also spending $5 million on feasibility study to connect the Bowen Basin to the domestic and export markets via a 500km gas transmission pipeline.

“Not only are we are doing all we can to get more gas in the market, but we are welcoming first time junior explorers to help bring more jobs and economic benefits to Queensland,” Mr Stewart said.

“In fact, during 2020 we released a total of 8,205 square kilometres for gas exploration to maintain a pipeline of future resources projects.

“These blocks were released during COVID-19 as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan for recovery.

“These were sought after due to their proximity to existing gas pipeline infrastructure and processing facilities.”

Mr Connolly said AusGasCo was excited to be awarded tender for the two parcels, which will be foundation tenures for the company as a new entrant in the Queensland energy industry.

“I commend the government’s confidence in junior explorers, promoting near-term Queensland petroleum exploration and encouraging private investment in the sector,” Mr Connolly said.

“It will benefit the local communities and businesses of central Queensland, the Queensland energy market and the Queensland economy.

“The two tenures are complemented by their location next to a number of quality, producing coal seam gas fields with multiple domestic gas transmission pipelines nearby.”

Since 2015 the State Government has released more than 80,000 square kilometres of land for gas exploration, over a quarter of which will “guarantee” the gas for Australian consumers, the statement said.

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