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GAS-Santos JV granted new exploration permit

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World Coal,

The Queensland Government has issued new exploration permit ATP 2068 to a joint venture (JV) of State Gas Ltd (through its 100% subsidiary State Gas (CQ) Pty Ltd) and Santos QNT Pty Ltd (100% subsidiary of Santos Ltd).


  • New exploration permit ATP 2068 has been issued to State Gas in JV with Santos QNT Pty Ltd.
  • The new permit grant follows the appointment of State Gas and Santos as preferred tenderers for the area (PLR2021-1-2) in May 2022.
  • ATP 2068 is adjacent to State Gas’ existing projects at Reid’s Dome and Rolleston-West, as well as Santos interests to the east, providing connectivity and enabling synergistic development of the wider area.
  • The new area is highly prospective for coal seam gas in the Bandanna Formation, as well as hosting conventional targets.
  • State Gas holds 35% and Santos 65% of the new permit, with Santos as operator, enabling the JV to benefit from its extensive experience in producing gas from Bandanna coals in the area.
  • The permit grant for PLR2021-1-3, the second block to which State Gas and Santos were appointed preferred developers, is expected following resolution of native title processes.
  • The new acreage represents a significant expansion of State Gas’ portfolio, increasing its future production, access to local production expertise, and providing optionality in development and marketing.

This new permit grant follows the appointment in May 2022 of State Gas and Santos as preferred tenderers of two areas under the recent Queensland Government Petroleum Land Release Program.

Constituting approximately 702 km2 , ATP 2068 (formerly PLR2021-1-2) is directly adjacent to State Gas’ Reid’s Dome (PL 231) and Rolleston-West Projects (ATP 2062) to the west and north, and the 50% Santos owned Warrinilla and Warrinilla North Projects (PL 451 and PCA 301) to the east.

The permit provides acreage connectivity between State Gas’ Reid’s Dome and the Santos interests to the east. The new permit area is highly prospective for coal seam gas in the Bandanna Formation, as well as containing targets for conventional gas. The Bandanna Formation is currently in production on Santos operated acreage to the east, and being tested by State Gas at its adjacent Rolleston-West Project.

Under the JV, State Gas holds 35% of the new permit, with Santos holding the remaining 65% and appointed operator. In addition to the economies of scale available from coordinating operations with Santos, the JV is expected to benefit from Santos’ extensive experience in producing from Bandanna coal formations in the area.

The grant of ATP 2068 to the State Gas–Santos JV, to be followed (once native title processes are concluded) by the permit for PLR2021-1-3, results in an alignment of the partners’ ownership interests across the gas resource in the majority of the southern Bowen Basin, providing the opportunity for coordinated and synergistic development of the whole region.

The rapid grant of the permit, less than two months after appointment of preferred tenderers, will enable the parties to move quickly to commence activities on the area. Its proximity to existing projects and infrastructure will facilitate its development in due course.

State Gas Executive Chairman, Richard Cottee, said: “Over the last two years, the company has grown and diversified almost exponentially. From an initial position of 181 km2, it added 1414 km2 with ATP 2062 two years ago, and now it is adding a further 1035 km2.”

“Importantly, we have achieved significant diversification in our target resource, with several different coal seam gas plays, as well as both conventional shallow and tight gas plays. However, we have done so while maintaining a geographical focus in an area we are established and know well, thereby maximising knowledge, operational efficiencies, and enabling synergie. We are creating greater optionality for both operations and marketing.”

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Queensland coal news