Review of overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure

The State has issued a consultation paper and draft bill proposing amendments to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (PGA), Petroleum Act 1923 (PA) and the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (MRA) to address principally issues arising out of the overlap of coal, oil shale and coal seam gas tenures.

One of the main aims of the bill is to balance the need for longterm certainty of access to coal seam gas (CSG) reserves for CSG to LNG projects with the competing requirements of coal miners not to have coal reserve or resource areas sterilised for coal production for long periods of time.

The principal ways in which the bill seeks to address this
balance are:

  • tightening the form of reserves certification for applying for
  • a petroleum lease;
  • strengthening the conditions for grant of a petroleum lease where production will not occur within 2 years of grant;
  • introducing time limits within which a preference decision for coal or petroleum production must be made; and
  • introducing a type of petroleum retention licence to preserve coal seam gas reserves for longer term production.

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