Gas supply
Pipes are pictured at the refinery of Austrian oil and gas group OMV in Schwechat, Austria, October 21, 2015. Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

Shell Australia has announced a new project in an effort to enhance gas supply in the east coast. As part of the project, titled “Project Ruby,” the company will be drilling 161 wells in Queensland.

The project, to be advertised in the Surat Basin, will also create as many as 350 new and existing jobs in the area. The construction will span over a period of 16 months.

The company is committed to give a continuous gas supply in the east coast market, company chairman Andrew Smith said. “This is the next significant milestone for the QGC project and a further vote of confidence in Queensland’s onshore gas industry,” he said.

He also expressed his views about the growing onshore gas industry in Queensland. The project, he said, will lead to lower gas prices. “We are proud to be investing in regional Queensland, where state and local government have had the vision to establish the rules for a gas industry that creates jobs and supports farmers by providing water, building new roads and paying taxes,” he said.

The project, to supply gas to both domestic and liquefied natural gas markets, was well-received by Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. “Where other states have moratoriums on gas development, we have a rigorous policy that has promoted the sustainable development of the LNG industry,” she said.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlene said the project will help both local community and gas supply in the state. “This significant milestone for the QGC project is also a vote of confidence in Queensland’s onshore gas industry,” he said.

As many as 75 petajoules of gas will be supplied to Australian customers by Shell’s QGC this year. This accounts for in excess of 10 percent of east coast demand and as much as 40 percent of Queensland demand. In 2015-16, gas supply in the state created 65,000 jobs and secured $12.8 billion in economic contribution.

The news comes as labour hire company One Key Resources witnesses an increase in demand for mining workers. The company is seeking employees to work in an array of roles. The increase in worker demand was accompanied by an escalation in wages, One Key Resources managing director Grant Wechsel said.

Wechsel added the company was looking to employ people for long-term contracts. Some of the roles One Key Resources is seeking employees for include dump truck and multi skilled operators, auto electricians, diesel fitters, underground miner drivers, operators and tradespeople.