Australian Property News
Shale oil mining ban lifted in Queensland
Posted on Wednesday, February 13 2013 at 11:42 AM
The Queensland Government will lift a ban on the mining of shale oil in the state, opening the door to additional revenue and thousands of new jobs.
The reversal means one project operator, Queensland Energy Resources, can commence work almost immediately on its trial plant at Gladstone, while other potential operators can apply for approvals.
About 90 per cent of Australia’s known shale oil resources sit in the state’s north, which equates to an estimated 22 billion barrels of oil, Natural Resources and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps says.
“As the world supply of conventional crude oil diminishes, there are strong prospects for oil shale to become the next major source of liquid fuel supplies in Australia and Queensland is well placed to lead that charge,” Cripps says.
The former Bligh Labor Government placed a 20-year moratorium on shale oil in 2008, citing environmental concerns.
Today’s policy announcement will see that ban lifted, except at the McFarlane oil shale deposit near Proserpine.
Cripps says “in general” the government will consider the development of other deposits in Queensland, with rigorous environmental assessments attached.
Project proponents will also have to “demonstrate their oil shale technology will meet high environmental standards and community expectations”.
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