THE AUSTRALIAN Petroleum Production & Exploration Association has endorsed changes to the Land and Legislation Amendment Bill orchestrated by the Queensland Government which aim to give the onshore gas industry a stronger foundation for support.

The amendments include a two year extension to the term of all current Authority to Prospect (ATP) exploration work programs to six years from the current four years and deferring the associated relinquishment of the tenure area, due at the end of each four year work program, to the end of the six-year mark.

Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the tenure reforms built on the Newman Government’s plan to encourage the next generation of projects in the petroleum and gas sector.

“Industry expressed concerns about the current regulation for petroleum and gas tenures, describing it as cumbersome, duplicative, inf lexible and overly-prescriptive,” he said.

Mr Cripps said the changes would give business the certainty to invest new capital, allowing them to develop new projects.

APPEA eastern Australia chief operating officer Paul Fennelly said the amendments represented a common sense approach to resource development in Queensland that took into account the many unforeseen pressures on company work schedules.

“Legislative changes such as these are a vital part of the Resources Q initiative that sets out a 30-year strategic pathway seeking to address sliding competitiveness and secure global investment in Queensland resources,” he said.

“The changes demonstrate a strong commitment by the Queensland Government to ongoing growth in the sector.”

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines is currently undertaking a review of the tenure framework, as it applies to the whole-of-life cycle for resource projects, including petroleum and gas, minerals and coal.

“The benefits of these reforms will allow companies to get on the ground faster with tenures that are more flexible and meet their commercial needs,” Mr Cripps said.