The NT Government has recently completed its Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) series of comprehensive regional scientific studies, which provide necessary information to support the development of Beetaloo sub-basin


NT opens up Beetaloo sub-basin for development. (Credit: WORKSITE Ltd. on Unsplash)

The Government of Northern Territory (NT) has released its Final Implementation Report on Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing, approving development in the Beetaloo sub-basin.

In the Final Implementation Report, the government considered that implementing all the 135 recommendations made in 2018 would help manage industry risks.

The government finalised the recommendations, allowing gas production in the Beetaloo sub-basin, including Empire Energy’s EP187 Carpentaria Pilot Project.

NT Government has recently completed its Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA) series of comprehensive regional scientific studies.

The studies provide necessary information to support the decisions made on the development of the projects in the Beetaloo sub-basin.

It also includes assessment of water and biodiversity resources, to inform land-use planning, and the collection of baseline data to provide a reference for ongoing monitoring.

NT Government’s regulatory framework will allow the safe and sustainable development of Beetaloo’s abundant natural gas resources, said Empire Energy.

Empire Energy Group managing director Alex Underwood said: “We welcome this historic announcement by NT Chief Minister Fyles and Resources Minister Manison.

“After an extensive process of review and reform, industry participants and their investors now have certainty on how the NT Government will regulate this vital industry.

“Empire is committed to meeting the highest operational and environmental standards and collaborating with government, traditional owners, other landholders and the broader community to ensure the benefits of the development of the Beetaloo’s natural resources will be shared across the Northern Territory and in other areas that support that development.”

The NT Government has allocated $2m in funding in its 2023 Budget, and per year going forward, for the development of the Petroleum operations unit.

It will use the $2m annual investment to help the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security evaluate EMP’s, deliver strong compliance programmes and provide education.

The government intends to manage the onshore gas industry using its regulatory framework, to ensure more transparency, accountability, and priority to Aboriginal people in the region.

Northern Territory chief minister Natasha Fyles said: “Gas is the transition fuel that enables renewable energy technology. The new industry standards set the bar high with clear expectations and transparency for industry compliance.

“As we move forward, I will continue to listen to and work with Territorians. Together, we will increase local job opportunities, expand the Territory’s economy and maintain our unique culture and environment.

“Along with our world-class renewable resources, our highly prospective onshore gas resources will support our energy security during the transition to renewables — and will improve living standards for all Territorians.”