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Firms ‘vying for coal seam gas market’


15:37 AEST Fri Feb 6 2009

Angela Harper and Ben Sharples

Energy NL, which has a partnership with Royal Dutch Shell, says interest in Queensland’s emerging coal seam gas sector is continuing despite turmoil in global economic markets.

Arrow Energy Australian chief executive Shaun Scott said many new companies not already in the market and who had missed out on acquisitions in the past 12 months are vying for land.

“There are still plenty of players out there who are hungry to get their hands on reserves and resources,” Mr Scott told reporters on Friday.

“There are still a number that want to take positions.”

Royal Dutch Shell – Europe’s largest oil company – Malaysia’s Petronas, UK-based BG Group and US-based ConocoPhillips have taken positions in the industry through takeovers and partnerships with local firms.

Each group has separate plans to convert coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to lucrative Asian markets.

The town of Gladstone, about 550km north of Brisbane, is shaping up as Australia’s new LNG hub, with the Queensland government earmarking the Curtis Island site as a designated LNG precinct.

Arrow formed a partnership in June with Shell, which will take a 30 per cent stake in Arrow’s Australian coal seam gas tenements for $US388 million ($A604.08 million).

Shell will also take a 10 per cent interest in Arrow’s international assets for $US66 million ($A102.76 million).

� AAP 2009

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