THOUSANDS of new jobs are to be created after the Coalition and Western Australian Governments offered two production licences for the multi-billion dollar Scarborough offshore gas project, located off the Western Australia’s north western Burrup Peninsula.

The Scarborough project, led by Woodside, is a key part of the company’s $52 billion Burrup Hub vision, which aims to become a global hub for production and exports of Australian LNG.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the production licences offered by the Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority were a significant milestone and would generate thousands of new jobs and supply gas for use in Australia and for export.

“Developing Scarborough, through expansion of the Pluto LNG facility, is expected to create more than 3,200 jobs during the construction phase, and an average of more than 1,300 jobs a year during operations,” he said.

“The project will also help maintain Australia’s position as one of the world’s largest LNG producers whilst contributing to domestic gas supply and supporting our economy.

“The production licences account for 11.1 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and they support the government’s plans for a gas-fired economic recovery.

“The Scarborough field was discovered in 1979 and the production licences are consistent with the Government’s effort to accelerate the development of Australian gas resources.”

In July this year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Burrup Hub as a priority project for streamlined approvals

Minister Pitt said the Coalition Government was pleased to see the project’s engineering, commercial and regulatory work was well advanced.

“Investments in gas and other Australian resources projects have been the main driver of the Australian economy in recent decades.  Progress on the Scarborough project is another show of confidence in the long-term future of Australia’s resources sector and resources jobs,” Minister Pitt said.

The Scarborough gas field is well placed to meet growing demand for LNG for the Asia Pacific region. The International Energy Agency has pointed to the increasing role of gas in the energy mix in the Asia-Pacific region.

Woodside, together with joint venture participant BHP, is targeting a final investment decision for the Scarborough project in the second half of 2021.