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Environmental approval process initiated for Northern Australia Gas Venture.

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Media Release

Statement by

Senator Nick Minchin

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources


17 December 1998





Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, today announced the commencement of the Commonwealth environmental approval process for the Northern Australia Gas Venture.


The process was approved by Senator Minchin and the Northern Territory Minister for Resource Development, Eric Poole, both members of the Commonwealth-NT Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority.


"This important step initiates the first major phase of the development of the Greater Sunrise and Evans Shoal gas fields in the Timor Sea," Senator Minchin said. "It could result in a doubling of our liquified natural gas (LNG) exports.


"Capital investment could amount to $10 billion and the increased exports of LNG could improve Australia's balance of trade by $1.5 billion per annum.


"It will also confirm Australia's position as a potential large and secure supplier of LNG into Asian markets."


The statutory requirements for environmental assessment will now be carried out under both Commonwealth and Northern Territory legislation. The feasibility studies for the project are being carried out by Woodside Energy Limited and Shell Development Australia.


The proposed project is expected to involve two large offshore platforms and a 500 kilometre gas pipeline from the offshore production platforms to the proposed onshore facilities at or near Glyde Point, north of Darwin.


Onshore facilities could involve LNG processing trains of up to 8 million tonnes per annum processing capacity, domestic gas processing facilities, plus onshore storage, port facilities and associated infrastructure.


"The Northern Australia Gas Venture would further boost industrial development opportunities and downstream processing of gas in the Northern Territory," Senator Minchin said. "The new pipeline would lead to greater reliability of gas supplies and the potential for significantly increased supplier competition in the Northern Territory and interstate markets."



Kate Schulze, Senator Minchin's Office, 02 6277 7580