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The hunt is on for more gas to fuel jobs, with four companies to explore more than 3,000 square kilometres of central and south-west Queensland.
Manufacturing Minister Glenn Butcher said Senex Energy, Comet Ridge, State Gas and Denison Gas had won tenders to explore areas close to their existing infrastructure to get more gas to market quickly.
Speaking in Gladstone, Minister Butcher said gas from some of the areas was guaranteed to Australian companies to maintain jobs, including companies like Northern Oil Refinery at Gladstone.
"This means development where companies like Northern Oil here, can continue to employ local people and put on new people.
"This gives them an opportunity not only to keep those employees on the ground but get new staff involved," he said.
"Senex Energy, as we know, is already doing work right here at Northern Oil and has secured a deal with this local Gladstone company to secure gas for this facility into the future."
The four companies that have won tenders are:
Comet Ridge, who will explore two areas totalling 435 km2 for domestic market gas, east and north-east of Comet Ridges’ Mahalo North Project.
Senex Energy, who will explore 18 km2 for domestic market gas near their existing Project Atlas near Wandoan, as well as 486 km2 south east of Theodore.
State Gas, who will explore 1414 km2 located south-west of Rolleston near their existing Reid’s Dome gas project.
Denison Gas, who will explore 668 km2 located north of Injune, near their existing Denison South project.