Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said 11,000 square kilometres was being released for exploration expressions of interest.
“New discoveries of gas resources will support future domestic gas supplies for Queensland as well as our world-leading liquefied natural gas industry,” Lynham said.
“The Cooper and Eromanga basins contain vast petroleum and gas resources and are considered among Australia’s most prospective and commercially viable regions for deep gas and oil development.
“Into the bargain, Queensland offers potential investors access to $70 billion worth of infrastructure in pipelines, processing facilities and liquefaction plants.”
Lynham said the Department of Natural Resources was targeting potential explorers and investors in Europe, North America and Asia through international industry media and events.
Most of the land being made available is in the Cooper and Eromanga basins, with one small area of highly-prospective in the Surat Basin.
The Cooper and Eromanga Basins (PLR2015-2) area covers about 11,000sq. km in size in the remote, sparsely populated south-west corner bounded by Windorah, Betoota, Eromanga and the South Australian border.
“This is the first of a four-year land release plan for the Copper and Eromanga basins and is designed to attract junior and major explorers,” Lynham said.
The Surat Basin (PLR2015-1) area is about 6sq.km of high-prospective land, 22km southeast of Condamine which could be suitable for conventional gas and CSG.
“This is close to the existing operations and infrastructure of both Queensland Curtis LNG and APLNG. QGC will tomorrow commission its first plant at Gladstone, APLNG is projecting it will export its first LNG in October, and Santos GLNG is set for export in the third quarter of 2015,” Dr Lynham said.
“Further exploration and development represented a new and significant opportunity for regional development and jobs; including in the Barcoo, Diamantina, Bulloo and Quilpie shires.
“The CSG-LNG industry operates under a strong regulatory framework, strict environmental conditions and land access conduct and compensation requirements put in place by Beattie and Bligh Labor governments.
“Exploration is vital to ensure we have a strong resources sector that will continue to make a significant contribution to Queensland’s future economic prosperity.
“DNRM is working closely with Queensland’s trade commissioner network to access the decision-makers in the targeted investor markets.
“We want to promote these exploration opportunities at key international events such as the World Gas Conference in Paris in June.
“The exploration tenders will also feature at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association national conference and exhibition in Melbourne next week.”
Successful tenderers will be granted a petroleum and gas authority to prospect exploration permit for a six-year term after meeting environmental, land access and any native title requirements.
The Cooper-Eromanga basin competitive tender will not include a cash component and applicants will be assessed according to their proposed exploration work programs.
The Surat Basin competitive tender for the parcel of land near Condamine will, however, include a cash component because it is highly prospective and close to existing coal seam gas production leases.
The closing date for tenders is October 8, 2015.