APA Group has signed an initial agreement with Empire Energy to progress development of the explorer’s Carpentaria pilot project, which to connect prolific gas acreage in the Beetaloo Basin to the existing McArthur River Mine Pipeline.
This connection would establish a link from the Beetaloo Basin through to APA’s Amadeus Gas Pipeline, which supplies Darwin, Alice Springs and regional centres in the Northern Territory.
Under the terms of the latest agreement, APA will commence pre-engineering studies to potentially develop gathering pipelines, gas processing infrastructure and transmission pipeline infrastructure.
APA said it is planned to agree to a longer-form early works agreement in the coming months. This would see APA spending up to $5 million on engineering work and potentially early land access approvals in FY2024. The proposed project is subject to further negotiations between APA and Empire Energy, and approvals by each party.
As part of the proposed longer-form arrangements, APA and Empire Energy will work together to potentially connect the Beetaloo Basin to the east coast gas market.
“Delivering the next wave of domestic gas supply to support Australia’s energy markets will be critical to achieving energy security and delivering the energy transition in an affordable and sustainable way,” APA CEO and Managing Director Adam Watson said.
“As coal continues to exit the Australian energy market, natural gas will be essential for backing renewable energy to ensure we reach our decarbonisation ambitions, without impacting system reliability, security and affordability.
“The Beetaloo development will be critical to achieving this. As we begin these initial studies, we are committed to working closely with landholders, First Nations stakeholders, communities, councils and governments to ensure this project is progressed in a responsible way.
“We look forward to working with Empire Energy in the Beetaloo Basin to progress potential pipeline solutions and help boost gas supply across the Northern Territory and the east coast of Australia.”