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Santos hopes to drill 6100 new wells in Queensland coal seams

World Coal,

Coalbed methane (CBM) developer, Santos, is pushing for further expansion of its CBM development in regional Queensland.

The company hopes to spud 6100 new wells in coal seams north toward Emerald. Such development could create 3000 new jobs, which would provide a significant boost for Australian towns like Blackwater, Injune, Miles, Mitchell, Surat and Rolleston.

Santos forecasts the project would add about AU$ 1.5 billion to the economy of the region by 2025 and about 85% of goods and services sourced domestically and about 45% from regional Queensland.

About 2000 fly-in, fly-out workers will be needed in construction positions, should any development take place. Santos said there were not sufficient skills locally to cope with demand. Thus, 80% of the construction jobs for the project will be FIFO workers from outside the project area.

Santos expects about half the operational workforce to be locally based.

The wells will produce CBM, which will then be taken via pipeline to its LNG project at Curtis island.

Analysts say Santos is currently short of the gas required to run its LNG project, however, they also suggest 6100 wells is a maximum figure, and it may only take 3000 wells to produce the amount of gas needed.

Santos has said as far back as 2009 that its current plan of 2600 wells would not be enough.

The new scheme, known as the Gas Field Development Project, could help meet global demand for gas and reduce Santos’ need to buy gas from third parties. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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