AusBN - Shell Australia has announced it has begun drilling of 161 new wells in Queensland for a new natural gas project.
The development, labelled Project Ruby, is a joint venture with Shell’s QGC business with drilling set to continue throughout this year and into 2018.
During the project’s 16-month construction period around 350 new and existing jobs will be secured in the Surat Basin region of the state.
Queensland Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said: "It's great news for Queensland, as this addresses the supply issue of gas going into our international and domestic markets."
This latest project will build on Queensland’s expanding LNG industry, which contributed AUS$12.8 billion to the economy and sustained 65,000 jobs between 2015-16, according to QGC.
Shell chairman Andrew Smith also commented on the oil and gas major’s commitment to the state’s LNG market.
“We are proud to be investing in regional Queensland, where state and local government have had the vision to establish the rules for a gas industry that creates jobs and supports farmers by providing water, building new roads and paying taxes,” said Smith.