You are currently viewing Northern Territories and Federal Government Sign Funding Agreement to Accelerate Gas Production from the Beetaloo Basin

Northern Territories and Federal Government Sign Funding Agreement to Accelerate Gas Production from the Beetaloo Basin

The Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments have signed a major agreement to further accelerate hydraulic fracturing and increase energy supplies from a giant underground gas field in the distant NT.

Two days before going into interim mode ahead of the election, the federal government signed the $872 million joint deal to ramp up gas production in the Beetaloo Basin, about 500 kilometers southeast of Darwin.

As part of the deal, the federal government said it would contribute $660 million and the NT government allocated $212 million, with plans to boost gas supplies from NT to the east coast of Australia by 2024.

The deal brings together more than $550 million in previously announced projects to boost the Northern Territory’s renewable energy supply and security, as well as invest in technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

It also includes $300 million to support liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen production, part of a $1.5 billion plan for Darwin’s Middle Arm neighborhood revealed in the latest federal budget. .

It marks the latest push by the federal government to ramp up hydraulic fracturing — a controversial drilling technique — in the Beetaloo Basin, as part of its gas recovery plans from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fracking remains an ongoing political issue in the NT.(Provided: Brendan Egan)

It follows previous funding to accelerate development in the region, including funds for road upgrades and grants for exploration activities by gas companies, and builds on recently pledged federal support for new port facilities in the port of Darwin.

Exploration is currently underway to fracture the Beetaloo Basin, and the government has said the new supply target will reflect the proven results of this exploration.

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