Queensland LNG industry to create 20,000 jobs

Queensland’s gas boom is set to continue with predictions that in the next two decades the industry will lift the state’s real gross domestic product by an average of $25 billion a year.

Speaking at the Australian American Chamber of Commerce Energy Conference in Houston last week BG Groups Australian chairman Catherine Tanna said investment in Queensland’s LNG sector will rise as companies continue to explore and bring major projects online.

BG Group is a partner in the $20 billion QCLNG project on Gladstone's Curtis Island, the first of the three $70 billion projects on the island that come into production.

Tanna told the audience that in the next 20 years the natural gas industry will lift Queensland's real gross domestic product by an average of $25 billion a year, provide 20,000 long-term jobs and generate up to $275 billion in royalties and taxes.

“Queensland’s gas basins, with much of the resource untapped, are literally bigger than Texas, and our three LNG projects will supply enough gas to power Asian cities with a total population of 80 million people for 20 years,” Tanna explained.

More than 18,000 wells are expected to be drilled in state over the next two decades.

BG Group's QCLNG project alone has drilled nearly 2000 wells with plans for another 4000.

"And the pipelines to connect them all, for our project alone, would reach from Houston to Brisbane and more if laid end to end," Tanna said.

With an expected annual spend of around $3 billion during this period going towards the development of projects, Tanna said Queensland businesses would play a vital role in servicing the industry.

"Enterprising businesses will continue to have many opportunities to get involved as the industry seeks a deeper service industry and streamlines its operations

"We will require everything from maintenance and catering to engineering design, construction and enhanced information and control systems."

She said Queensland’s gas industry had delivered on major milestones since it “had come from a standing start only five years ago” and was expected to account for a third of Australian production by 2020.

"Put another way, Queensland's 25.3 million tonnes of production a year will be equivalent to 5% of global supply and will eclipse Russia for sixth place internationally," Tanna said.

The conference heard that since 2009 BG staff and contractor numbers have grown from less than 400 to 14,500.

While more than $65 billion has been invested in the sector in Queensland since 2008.

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