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Shell has announced that its Queensland Gas Co. (QGC) joint venture (JV) plans to enter a new drilling phase for natural gas, onshore Queensland, Australia.

The work will be carried out together with JV partners China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), and Japan’s Tokyo Gas. Shell is the operator and holds a majority interest in the QGC venture.

Between 2022 and 2024, the QGC will drill approximately 145 new gas wells in the Western Downs region of Queensland.

The drilled wells will then be connected to existing gas processing plants. These wells are expected to bring approximately 210 petajoules of gas to market over the next 15 years.

Shell Australia chairman Tony Nunan said the planned project is expected to help boost the regional economy, and provide more gas to domestic and export customers.

Nunan said: “Gas will be crucial to the energy transition, allowing the integration of greater levels of renewable energy here and overseas, and a vital part of Shell’s strategy to provide more and cleaner energy solutions to supply the world’s energy needs.”

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By GlobalData

All necessary state and federal government environmental approvals are in place for the proposed drilling phase.

Talks with landholders are currently ongoing to secure access and agree on gas well locations to reduce the impact on farming activities.

The QGC business is engaged in producing natural gas from the Surat basin, in southern Queensland.

Its operation includes more than 3,000 production wells, six central processing plants, two water treatment plants, 25 field compressor stations, and the LNG export plant on Curtis Island.

Last month, Shell and UK offshore regulators renewed talks over the development of the Jackdaw gas field in the North Sea.