Atlas project commences domestic operations in record time
IN A first for Australia, yesterday marked the commencement of the commercial operations on the $140 million Atlas Gas Pipeline with gas transported from Senex Energy's Atlas gas acreage near Wandoan to the east-coast gas market via the Wallumbilla Gas Hub.
Reports have surfaced Senex MD and CEO Ian Davies told shareholders the company had delivered gas from Australia's first acreage dedicated to domestic supply, in what is believed to be record time.
The delivery of gas into the domestic market marks a major milestone for the industry as Project Atlas delivers gas to its first customer, state-owned power generator CleanCo, and will follow within weeks to Queensland building products maker CSR.
Last June leading energy infrastructure company, Jemena, signed an agreement with Senex Energy to build, own, and operate the 60 kilometre gas pipeline in order to fast-track new gas supply to the domestic market which will also include manufacturers Orora, and O-I.
The new pipeline project has brought a significant boost to the Western Downs economy by creating almost 200 jobs filled by people from the local community.
Jemena's Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said the Senex-Jemena partnership demonstrated how the gas industry is responding to demand for additional gas for the domestic market.
"What's impressive about this partnership is the speed with which it has been executed," he said.
"In just under 18 months Jemena and Senex have safely delivered this project - including the physical construction of the pipeline, which was completed in under four months."
Mr Tudor said Jemena worked closely with the communities surrounding the pipeline throughout its design and construction phases to ensure broad community awareness of the project.
"We want to thank the Wandoan and other communities in south-west Queensland and the Darling Downs region for their support and interest in this project, and for trusting us to deliver it on their land.
"The communities in these areas have been absolutely pivotal to the overall success of this project.
"We also made use of local businesses and contractors throughout the design and build of the project with more than $12 million in contracts awarded to local companies.
"Conservatively, we estimate this project contributed more than $24 million in flow-on benefits to these communities."
Mr Tudor said the Atlas Gas Pipeline formed part of Jemena's broader Northern Growth Strategy which seeks to build an interconnected network of pipeline assets across the country's north in order to bring new gas to market via the most direct and efficient routes available.
The strategy commenced with the completion of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline in 2018 and was extended in July this year when Jemena revealed its proposed pipeline route for the Galilee Gas Pipeline which is planned for construction.
The Atlas acreage was the first of 13 exploration tenements awarded by the Queensland Government to fast-track the delivery of additional gas to the domestic market.
Project Atlas comprises an initial 60 gas wells, pipelines and a processing facility to compress the gas for pipeline delivery to customers. Leading energy infrastructure company Jemena built, owns and operates the $140 million processing facility and pipeline.
The wells are on 58 square kilometres of land the Queensland Government granted for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.
Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 70,000 square kilometres for gas exploration, over a quarter of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian consumers.
Currently Armour Energy, Central Petroleum, Chi Oil and Gas, a Santos/Shell joint venture, APLNG, Comet Ridge and Denison Gas are on the hunt for more gas for the Australian market.