CARBON Energy is hoping to secure a final decision on the commercial future of its keyseam underground coal gasification technology in Queensland before the end of the year as it progresses with the approvals process.

Carbon said in July it had reached in-principle agreement with both the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

The agreement covers a process and timetable for the company to present the decommissioning report and rehabilitation plan and for the Departments to make an assessment of the documentation and to provide associated recommendations to government.

Carbon hopes to submit the rehabilitation plan by the end of September.

“Although it is acknowledged by all parties that the proposed timeline is tight it should facilitate a decision on the commercial future of keyseam before the end of the year,” the company said.

In parallel, the company is also working to establish partnerships and secure long-term off-take arrangements for a commercial-scale gas project in the Surat basin producing at least 25 petajoules of gas. The company has also kicked off the prefeasibility study for the project.

“We have been working very closely with government to progress a decision on the future of UCG and have reached in-principle agreement with government on the process and timetable,” Carbon chief executive Morné Engelbrecht said.

“At the same time, we are preparing for the rapid commercialisation of the Surat Basin gas project to become a major gas producer for Queensland.”

Carbon is of the belief its Bloodwood Creek UCG site in the Surat basin has the potential to become a major gas provider in the Queensland market.