First gas from the acreage has been targeted for 2019 with Senex Energy expected to inject more than A$200m ($159.4m) on wells and infrastructure over the lifetime of the Queensland gas project.

The Queensland government through its domestic gas acreage tender awarded the petroleum lease to the Brisbane-based energy company for nil consideration.

According to Senex, the Surat Basin acreage contains P50 recoverable gas volumes of 201 PJ1. Further, the gas field is capable of sustaining production rates of over 30 terajoules per day at plateau.

Senex CEO Ian Davies revealed that the company is looking to engage with domestic gas customers in early 2018 in order to sign gas supply contracts.

Davies added: “This award enables Senex to materially expand its gas business while delivering energy security to domestic customers and opportunities for the local community.

“This clear example of our gas strategy in action will create jobs for Queenslanders and value for our shareholders.”

Overall 150 jobs are likely to be created by the new gas project in Queensland.

Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said: “This tender was a pilot using for the first time provisions of resources legislation to direct gas to the domestic market. We were keen to understand if there was market interest.

“Securing this Petroleum Lease will open up access to 58 square kilometres of land near Miles. The area where Senex plans to operate is considered highly prospective as it sits within a region where a high volume of gas production is already underway.

Lynham concluded that the acreage awarded to Senex is close to existing gas infrastructure which will lead to fast-track production from wellhead to market.

Senex expects to get regulatory clearances for the acreage in the Surat Basin in mid-2018.