Opportunites for onshore and offshore petroleum in northern Australia

Put under the spotlight at joint Kimberley and Northern Territory Local Government Forum
Date: Monday, 05 December 2016

Last week the Department of Mines and Petroleum’s (DMP’s) Executive Director Petroleum Jeff Haworth attended the Joint Kimberley and Northern Territory Local Government Forum at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Kimberley and Northern Territory Local Government Forum
DMP Executive Director Petroleum Jeff Haworth, second from left, with local government and industry representatives in Alice Springs.

“The forum provided an opportunity to discuss areas where the Northern Territory and Western Australian Local Governments could work collaboratively to promote development in the north of Australia,” Mr Haworth said.

“Shires in the Kimberley and Northern Territory face similar challenges in developing opportunities in the north of Australia and I was able to discuss the current industry situation here in Western Australia along with possible opportunities for the future.”

The forum is a regular event at which senior local government council members and executives from the Kimberley and the Northern Territory convene to discuss and resolve matters of mutual interest.

Mr Haworth said a renewed Commonwealth Government policy focus on developing northern Australia is creating an environment for accelerated investment in much needed infrastructure and development.

“There is no doubt that as the result of the recent growth and transition of Asian economies and a very significant investment in petroleum and minerals production there is scope to deliver significantly greater output across the western and central zone of northern Australia,” he said.

He said in the context of the relatively limited population and industrialisation across northern Australia this presents a development frontier of immense opportunity.

“Most importantly, as a result of the extensive footprint of claims and determinations under the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993 and other forms of Aboriginal land tenure that exists across much of northern Australia, particularly in the Kimberley and Northern Territory, the opportunity for economic self-determination among Aboriginal people in northern Australia is arguably unparalleled in contemporary Australia,” Mr Haworth said.

He said Darwin continued to evolve as a major commercial centre and logistics hub in northern Australia providing connectivity between Broome, Darwin, Alice Springs and the Kimberley and Northern Territory hinterland.

“As service improves in those hubs, the economic and social relationship between these regions of northern Australia will likely prosper and local government will have an important role in facilitating this relationship,” he said.

During the forum Mr Haworth provided an overview of the offshore and onshore petroleum prospectivity, development and production in the Kimberley and Northern Territory, demonstrating the current cross-border operational footprint and potential future cross-border structures.

His presentation outlined opportunities for local governments in the Kimberley and Northern Territory to support the environmentally and socially sustainable current operations and future development of the petroleum sector across the Kimberley and Northern Territory.