THE resources boom is gathering strength as companies commit to new mega-projects in Queensland and Western Australia and gear up for a massive surge in investment over the next year.
In the past six months, resource companies have given firm commitments to 33 new projects worth a combined $43.9 billion, led by investments in coal-seam gas, iron ore and new coalmines.
The government's resource industry adviser, ABARE, now has 94 projects worth $173.5bn on its books, a 31 per cent increase since last October. … The biggest new project announced in the past six months was the $16bn coal-seam gas venture in Gladstone, which is being led by Santos. Gas and oil projects account for $101bn, or 60 per cent of the total number of projects under construction.
One major component in the investment boom is Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project in WA - The Australian reports that the WA government is continuing to insist on 15% of the gas being supplied to the domestic market - Chevron close to domestic gas deal on Gorgon project.
CHEVRON says it is close to signing contracts to supply gas to industrial users from its $43 billion Gorgon project in Western Australia after it reached a crucial access agreement with the Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline to transport the fuel.
The US energy giant's Australian operations head, Roy Krzywosinski, said yesterday the access agreement meant all the infrastructure contract arrangements were in place to supply the energy-hungry WA market by 2015.
Major industrial users have complained for several years about a lack of cheap gas supplies for mines, alumina plants, fertiliser operations and power stations. The Woodside Petroleum-operated North West Shelf Venture and Apache's Varanus Island are the only suppliers to the domestic gas market.
But Apache's $US1bn Devil Creek project is expected to become the next major domestic gas supplier later this year. The project will inject up to 220 terajoules of extra gas into the state's domestic system every day.
A parliamentary inquiry into gas pricing in WA found that prices were double those in other states, and recommended domestic gas reservation requirements should remain.
The producers have strongly opposed the reservation policy, which stipulates that 15 per cent of a project's output may have to be set aside for domestic needs.
Mr Krzywosinski said work on Chevron's estimated $30bn Wheatstone project would begin before the end of the year, generating 6500 direct jobs at peak construction and $21bn in government revenue.
WA Today reports that the gas industry continues to generate a lot of protest, with the latest round complaining about the proposed Kimberly gas hub - John Butler stands up to Woodside.
WA musician John Butler has led a lunchtime musical protest outside mining giant Woodside's city offices in protest against its proposed Kimberley gas hub.
The multiple ARIA award-winning musician performed on the steps of Woodside’s St George’s Terrace skyscraper as part of a nationwide stance against industrialisation of the Kimberley. Rock stars including Jimmy Barnes and Midnight Oil's Rob Hirst entertained crowds in Sydney while musician Shane Howard hit Melbourne’s Swanston Street.
Woodside, with joint-venture partners Chevron, BP, Shell and BHP, plan to build a multi-million dollar gas processing hub at James Price Point on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome. The move has sparked outrage from environmentalists as the area is frequented by migrating humpback whales, untouched beauty and gardens of unique coral.