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NT Fracking Pipelines

With massive subsidies of taxpayer money, gas companies are currently racing to be the first to produce gas at viable rates in the Beetaloo Basin, in the Roper-Gulf region of the Northern Territory.

Two of these companies, Empire Energy and Tamboran Resources, have signed competing agreements with pipeline companies to build the infrastructure to transport fracked gas out of the Beetaloo.

Empire Energy and APA Group 

US company Empire Energy hold exploration permits covering significant acreage across the Beetaloo and in eastern Arnhem Land. APA Group construct, own and operate pipelines across Australia. The two companies executed an MOU in October 2021 to collaborate on two sets of pipelines and other infrastructure to transport gas from the Beetaloo. 

The ‘Northern Strategy’ involves the use of additional compression stations to expand the capacity of the existing north-south Amadeus Gas Pipeline (owned and operated by APA). This would allow moderate volumes of fracked Beetaloo gas to be sent northwards to the LNG plant and proposed petrochemicals hub at Darwin Harbour.

The ‘Eastern Strategy’ entails a new pipeline from Daly Waters in the Beetaloo to the Carpentaria Pipeline (also owned and operated by APA) at Mt Isa, bypassing the existing Northern Gas Pipeline.

The Carpentaria Pipeline currently flows northwards (taking gas from southern Queensland to Mt Isa), so additional works would be required to enable the pipeline to transport Beetaloo gas in the other direction, towards the pipeline network and LNG export hubs in southern Queensland.

Jemena and Tamboran Resources

Jemena’s ‘Northern Growth Strategy’ also includes new pipelines and pipeline expansion works in the NT. Under a Memorandum of Understanding with Tamboran Resources, a fracking company exploring in the Beetaloo, Jemena plans to expand the capacity of its existing Northern Gas Pipeline (Tennant Creek to Mt Isa), and extend this pipeline south-east to connect to its proposed Galilee Gas Pipeline in Queensland. 

Jemena is also considering a new pipeline running north from the Beetaloo to Darwin, if additional LNG trains or the petrochemicals plant are approved.