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Gas Production

MinRes aims to integrate lower-emission and renewable energy solutions across our operations, including using natural gas to drive the company’s pathway towards a more cost-effective and cleaner energy future. 

Lockyer Gas Project

Following the successful exploration of the Lockyer gas field, MinRes is progressing towards developing a conventional natural gas production facility to displace diesel in our business and support the needs of the domestic and international market.  

The Lockyer Gas Project proposes the extraction and processing of natural gas within MinRes’ exploration permits in the Mid West region of Western Australia. 

MinRes has commenced the engineering design and approvals works for the facility. 

Preliminary design of Lockyer Processing Facility.

Proposed resort-style accommodation village.

The project will collect natural gas from conventional gas wells and direct gas via a pipeline to a central processing facility to be treated. The final gas product will be routed via an export pipeline to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline for use in other MinRes operations or sale. 

Final Investment Decision for the project is expected to be by the end of FY24, which will confirm the production scale of the facility.  

Combined with a significant investment in renewable energy, natural gas supports our efforts to reduce operational carbon emissions. 

For further information please refer to frequently asked questions below. 

Proposed location of the facility.

Frequently Asked Questions

MinRes is actively exploring for gas across the onshore northern Perth Basin, including a current multi well drilling program in the Mid West region of Western Australia.  One new survey is planned in Mingenew and two have been recently completed in the Dandaragan region. 

MinRes is also the largest acreage holder in the onshore Carnarvon Basin and has begun planning exploration activities within permits in the Onslow area. We are finalising approvals for new seismic in 2H24 and land access discussions are well advanced. 

The proposed Lockyer Conventional Gas Project comprises the conventional extraction and processing of natural gas within MinRes exploration permits EP-368 and EP-426 in the Mid West region of Western Australia. The project will collect natural gas from conventional wells and transport via gas gathering lines to a central processing facility. Processed gas will then be transported via an export pipeline to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) to support MinRes operations and for sale. 

MinRes is pursuing opportunities to displace diesel for power generation. Natural gas will play an important role as a lower emission baseload transition fuel, ensuring stable power supply to our operations while we advance our efforts to adopt renewable energy technologies to further reduce our emissions and meet our decarbonisation targets. 

MinRes is investigating opportunities for gas to support downstream projects, including methanol and urea production, and options to supply natural gas to the domestic market in Western Australia. Subject to Western Australian Government agreement, MinRes will also explore the potential partial export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) when the domestic market does not require all of MinRes’ gas. 

Following successful exploration and appraisal of the Lockyer gas field, MinRes is progressing plans to develop a central gas processing facility and associated conventional gas extraction wells and pipelines. In December 2023, MinRes applied for Development Approval to the State Development Assessment Unit at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. A final investment decision and receipt of all required approvals for the project is pending. 

The proposed central processing facility will be located within MinRes’ exploration permit (EP) 368 and EP 426, approximately 312km north of Perth, 25km east of Dongara and 15km west of Mingenew. The proposed location is on previously cleared broadscale agricultural pasture lands. 

The proposed central processing facility would have a production capacity of up to 250 terajoules per day of natural gas, subject to Western Australian Government agreement regarding partial export capability. 

MinRes has undertaken a comprehensive environmental impact assessment for the proposed Lockyer Conventional Gas Project.

In March 2024, MinRes referred the proposed Lockyer Conventional Gas Project to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for consideration under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986. In April 2024, the EPA determined that the likely environmental effects of the proposal are not so significant as to warrant formal assessment due to the detailed designs and strategies to minimise and mitigate impacts on environmental factors. The proposal is mostly located within a previously disturbed area and the native vegetation is in a degraded condition, and scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions are below the 100,000 CO2-e per annum threshold.

The EPA considers the potential impacts of the proposal can be mitigated through the range of other statutory regulatory processes.

Following receipt of all primary approvals, construction is expected to take between 12 to 18 months. 

MinRes anticipates up to 350 people would support site activity during the construction phase. 

Once commissioned and the central processing facility is operating, approximately 40 full-time site-based operational staff will be employed, with up to 20 people typically on site at any given time. Suitably qualified local residents will be prioritised for employment and local contractors will be used where available. 

Both the construction and operational workforce would be accommodated on-site near the central processing facility. Some personnel may also live locally. MinRes plans to build a resort-style accommodation village near the central processing facility for the operational workforce. 

The central processing facility will be designed to meet occupational health noise exposure limits and environmental external receptor noise emission limits. Noise studies have been conducted for the central processing facility, with predicted noise levels at all sensitive receptors complying with regulatory limits. 

MinRes anticipates any odours from the central processing facility are highly unlikely to impact areas outside the site. Odour during operations is not expected and is not typically associated with similar gas processing facilities. 

Hydrocarbon gas and liquids processed by the Lockyer central processing facility facilities are fully contained within enclosed piping and vessels. The drainage system is designed to contain any spills in the immediate vicinity to allow immediate clean up. 

Wastewater from the facility will be routed to evaporation ponds for disposal. Some local odours may be experienced occasionally from the evaporation ponds; however, the process wastewater will be highly treated to remove hydrocarbons prior to discharge, minimising this risk. 

Sewage and grey water will be treated in a health department approved sewage treatment system. 

At the wellheads, all gas and chemical injection systems are fully enclosed in suitably rated piping or vessels, and there are no continuous releases to the environment. Wellhead facilities are powered via a combination of solar with batteries and pressurised air. 

Preliminary planning for a gas processing facility includes a visual impact assessment prepared by Ecological Australia. This assessment comprises a viewshed analysis and site assessment to determine the visual impact of the proposed development on the existing views from the surrounding landscape. Preliminary analysis indicates that while parts of the proposed development may be visible at a distance from certain locations, existing vegetation and topography shields the view of the bulk of the development. 

The pipelines between gas wells, the central processing facility and the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline will be buried in trenches at least one metre below the ground surface. Pipeline routes have been selected in consultation with landholders and will be positioned along fence lines and existing tracks.  

MinRes anticipates impacts to local roads would be minimal. Horizontal directional drilling would be used to traverse under Midlands Road, the existing railway line, and the Irwin and Lockier rivers.  

MinRes’ gas development program does not undertake any fracking, instead targeting excellent conventional gas sandstone reservoirs. No additional stimulation of these reservoirs by fracking is required. 

The Lockyer development project team has worked hard to ensure the project has low environmental impact. where possible, previously cleared agricultural land will be utilised. 

During the construction phase of the Lockyer facilities, only minor areas of native vegetation necessary for operational use will be cleared. The majority of these areas have been assessed as being in a degraded state.  Appropriate approvals such as a Native Vegetation Clearing Permit will be obtained where necessary. 

Air dispersion modelling from the proposed operations was undertaken to assess the potential air quality impacts of atmospheric emissions from the project. The modelling predicted cumulative ground level concentrations for all air pollutants will be below the corresponding ambient air quality and workplace exposure standard criteria across all sensitive receptor locations. 

Ongoing community engagement is being undertaken with all stakeholders identified within the Lockyer Project footprint. MinRes has a dedicated community engagement department, supporting ongoing dialogue with external stakeholders including relevant landholders, community groups, local governments and Native Title groups. These relationships are well progressed, with project updates provided and negotiation of required approvals and agreements under way. 

MinRes is proud to support the communities in which we operate, including across the Mid West region. The MinRes Community Grants program is available to local organisations and associations, offering up to $10,000 to support community programs and events. Applications open quarterly, with more information available on the MinRes website.  

MinRes anticipates the procurement of various goods and services to support our activities in the Mid West region. We plan to lodge an Australian Industry Participation Plan once a final investment decision has been confirmed. This will assist local businesses to understand and participate in opportunities for local contracting and supply. 

MinRes recognises the Traditional Owners associated with lands within our operating areas and their contribution to successful social, community and project outcomes.  

Our company has a strong working relationship with the Yamatji Southern Regional Council and will work closely to identify employment and business opportunities.  

Once construction is complete and infrastructure is online, MinRes anticipates various on-site roles will support regular operation and maintenance of the proposed gas facility and accommodation camp. This will primarily involve day shift workers including trade-qualified technicians, administration and logistics personnel, and site maintenance and cleaning teams. 

For more information on MinRes’ gas exploration program and planned activities, please email minresenergy@mrl.com.au or contact the visit the Community Feedback section on our website.