This page belongs to: Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan

The Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan

The Beetaloo Sub-basin has the potential to rival the world’s biggest and best gas resources.

Developing the resource could create thousands of jobs and drive significant economic growth in the NT. It could:

  • spur significant downstream manufacturing opportunities
  • deliver cheaper and more reliable gas to households and industry
  • provide an additional source of gas for Liquefied National Gas (LNG) export facilities

The opportunities of the Beetaloo also present serious challenges that could prevent us realising its full potential.

These challenges include:

  • overcoming the Beetaloo’s vast and remote nature in order to better understand its resources
  • developing supporting infrastructure from the ground up
  • starting production by 2025 (or earlier) to meet the expected window of maximum gas demand and potential declines in production in southern states
  • ensuring local communities and Traditional Owners can realise the benefits of development

The government has developed this plan to ensure we meet these challenges and make the most of the opportunities.

Image comparing the current versus accelerated timeline of Beetaloo development. The current time line is 2-3 year for exploration, 4 years for appraisal, 4 years to start development and 20-40 years of production.

Figure 4: Expected impact of the Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan on the timing of Beetaloo gas development.

Current industry analysis indicates that most Beetaloo exploration will be finalised by 2023. Four years of appraisal will follow.

Final investment decisions will be made once:

  • the appraisal phase is completed
  • there is increased confidence in resource estimates
  • environmental and other planning approvals are in place

Our plan aims to accelerate these development stages. Our objective is to bring forward the final investment decisions of Beetaloo development to 2025 or earlier.

Harnessing the potential of the Beetaloo is a shared responsibility between all levels of government. It also must involve industry and the local community.

The Australian Government’s and NT Government’s roles are to ensure that development of the Beetaloo is safe and sustainable. It must benefit the NT and wider Australian communities.

Governments can coordinate activity across multiple players. They can facilitate industry-community collaboration. This will ensure all stakeholders share the benefits of resource development.

Industry will undertake the exploration and appraisal work that will lead to a better understanding of the Beetaloo’s resources. It will need to engage with local communities to secure a social licence to operate.

We will ask the local community to engage in good faith with:

  • gas operators
  • government
  • independent experts

This will ensure community members understand how Beetaloo gas development will impact their lives. They will be responsible for making informed decisions relating to the opportunities and risks associated with development.

The plan recognises these important roles and sets out a framework for everyone to share responsibility for Beetaloo development.