UPDATE: The aggressive fast-tracking of Senex Energy's gas projects in south-west Queensland has been welcomed by the State Government.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the addition of private equity company EIG Global Energy Partners as a major shareholder in Senex would secure about 100 jobs across the Surat Basin.
"This shows real market confidence in our resources sector and particularly Queensland's $70 billion CSG-LNG industry," he said.
"This industry already directly employs 5000 people and supports more than 60,000 fulltime jobs.
"We understand this project will generate up to 100 jobs, of which 80 will be local roles in drilling and construction."
EARLIER: Coal seam gas company Senex Energy has revealed a new shareholder to fast-track its major investments in south-west Queensland.
Specialist energy investor EIG Global Energy Partners spent $55 million buying into Senex, with the goal of accelerating their western Surat Gas project in the Maranoa area.
Senex CEO Ian Davies said the deal would nearly halve the time it would take to start building wells and pumping gas from around 70 sites north of Roma.
"EIG are a very sophisticated investor, they know CSG in Queensland," he said.
"Practically, you need four things to work in CSG - you need resource, the infrastructure, the market and the last thing is funding. They're all capital-intensive projects.
"This allows us to rapidly accelerate this project. What we'd do normally in five years, we'll do in three."
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise executive chairman Shane Charles said the new deal would open up employment and contracting opportunities in Roma and across the Darling Downs.
"It's particularly exciting - Senex is not one of the big four gas players, so the announcement means they can develop the western Surat Gas project much faster," he said.
"The exciting part is Senex has signed a 20-year agreement with Santos to supply gas with this field to them.
"They've got an off-take agreement and it will mean significant work for suppliers and drilling contractors right through the Surat Basin region."
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