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Estimates: Questions about Blue Energy's gas licenses in the Lake Eyre Basin

During Parliamentary Budget Estimates on Tuesday 10 August 2021, I asked about Blue Energy's authorities to prospect in the Lake Eyre Basin, and why they're still being allowed to apply for petroleum leases despite not complying with their existing approvals. 

You can read the answer below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard).

Mr BERKMAN: I have a question, this time regarding four authorities to prospect held by Blue Energy and Origin Energy in the Lake Eyre Basin, specifically ATP656, 657, 658 and 660. This relates to my question on notice No. 131, which confirms that they have not collected any seismic data. I will put the question to the DG given the technicality. Given Blue Energy’s failure to comply with the work program and specifically that requirement to undertake at least 520 kilometres of seismic survey, how is it that they have still been allowed to submit applications for petroleum production leases for those ATPs, especially in such a sensitive environment as that is?

Mr Kaiser: On 30 July Origin Energy and Blue Energy jointly applied for 11 petroleum leases over four authorities to prospect held solely by Blue Energy. I understand that those proposed leases are located near Windorah and overlay in part the Channel Country’s strategic environmental area, which forms part of the Lake Eyre Basin. These are complex matters in nature and my department continues to discuss those with the companies and assess those applications.

Mr BERKMAN: It is clear that they have not met the requirements of the work program and yet they are progressing through this process. I understand that there is a lot of complexity to this regime, but if you are not meeting the requirements of an authority to prospect, how can you be allowed to proceed to even make applications to start extraction activities?

Mr Kaiser: I have nothing to add to my previous answer.

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