Qld-first gas project approved, 150 new jobs on the way

SENEX Energy's Project Atlas is moving to full development after the Queensland Government granted the final environmental approvals, the company announced last week.

Together with satisfying federal environmental requirements, the approval means the company can begin construction of the project outside Wandoan.

The news comes after the state government awarded a licence to Jemena in February, allowing the company to build a plant to process gas from Project Atlas.

The construction phase of the project is estimated to last 18 months.

A Senex Energy spokesman told the Chinchilla News Project Atlas remained on track to deliver the first gas by late 2019, with drilling of the initial 60 wells to start mid-year.

"Jemena has engaged Valmec to build the gas processing facility and this will start shortly," the spokesman said.

The project is centred on Queensland's first tenement dedicated to domestic gas supply, with Senex expecting to deliver more than 200PJ of gas for the domestic market over the life of the project.

The construction phase is set to create up to 150 jobs, and there will be a small, locally based operations team, the spokesman said.

Managing director and CEO Ian Davies said Senex was delighted to achieve the milestone.

"When Senex was awarded the Project Atlas block by the Queensland Government we committed to deliver first gas to domestic customers within two years.

"We will achieve this and more with development drilling to commence shortly and commissioning of our gas facilities by the end of 2019, followed by first gas sales to domestic customers," Mr Davies said.

"The Queensland Government's policy to introduce more natural gas into the domestic market is far sighted, innovative and beneficial for both Australian customers and producers.

"Senex is a safe pair of hands to deliver on the Queensland Government's vision of a diverse and efficient gas market, and we continue to deliver on our strategy to become a material east coast gas supplier."