February 17, 2022

Media Release: Queensland resources plan should encourage investment in emission reduction technology

Australia’s oil and gas industry has urged the Queensland Government to use a new resources sector plan to boost investment in cleaner energy to reduce carbon emissions.

In its submission for the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association has called for the expansion of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) initiatives.

The Government has committed to investigate CCUS under the draft blueprint, but APPEA said the proposal should be more proactive and should support, facilitate and incentivise CCUS.

APPEA Acting Queensland Director Matthew Paull said: “Queensland has been ahead of the game nationally on carbon capture and storage policy, but we need to do more.

“There is a huge economic and emissions reduction opportunity for Queensland in this plan to make reforms that will turbocharge jobs and economic output in coming decades – but it will only work if the policy settings are right.”

APPEA is calling for consideration of CCUS initiatives including:

  • The expansion of Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants to all exploration for CCUS, not just new economy minerals as is currently the case.
  • Enabling over the counter applications for greenhouse gas storage tenure rather than solely relying on managed tenure release. This would improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the tenure system.
  • Taking action to improve understanding of CCUS amongst government regulators and ensure there is a viable approvals pathway for CCUS proposals.
  • Developing an ERA standard for CCUS and classing CCUS as a low-risk activity to expedite investment. At present proponents are required to undergo a full environmental assessment and there is no ERA standard for CCUS activities.
  • Directly incentivising CCUS development via rent deferrals during a development phase.

Mr Paull said: “Queensland needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the industry is committed to be part of the solution in moving to net zero emissions by 2050.

“If the state is going to get there, all emissions reduction opportunities need to be on the table and CCUS is proven technology that has to be in the mix.

“Natural gas as a cleaner energy source as well as CCUS initiatives will be key parts of the future energy mix.”

APPEA is also asking in its QRIDP Submission for a balanced approach relating to the removal of prohibitions on using steel casing in horizontal coal seam gas wells.

The Government has said it will investigate allowing steel casing in tenures overlapping with coal reserves.

Mr Paull said the benefits of allowing steel casing in those reserves were substantial.

“APPEA seeks a balanced outcome that is based on compromise, not exclusion, where both gas and coal projects that are ready to proceed can be developed,” he said.

Mr Paull said the industry welcome the Government’s initiative and foresight in developing the QRIDP.

“The plan contains numerous positive initiatives and provides a sound basis for the ongoing and long-term development of Queensland’s resource endowment,” he said,

“Given the breadth and scale of the initiatives proposed it will be important for government to adopt a measured pace of implementation to ensure government and industry can meaningfully engage and develop each initiative.”

To view a PDF of this media release, please click here.