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FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTAUSTRALASIA


NZOG is also putting pressure on the


government by saying the country needs to advance drilling off the South Island’s east coast. The company is seeking drilling partners for two large permits it operates off the South Canterbury coast and in the Great South Basin. Andrew Jefferies, ceo, told shareholders


that both basins are highly prospective and likely to contain large gas deposits. Meanwhile, NZOG’s Barque prospect


faces a drilling decision next year, in what could be the first test of the government’s commitment to allow existing offshore acreage to continue to be worked and developed if a discovery is made.


New agreements are expected to keep Woodside’s Karratha gas plant operating at full


capacity as supply from other sources begins to decline.


rig to extend the Tui field past 2022. Onshore, Todd Energy plans to start


drilling and hydraulic fracturing six wells while a rig, operated by AWE for a consortium including NZ Oil and Gas (NZOG), is drilling an exploratory well near New Plymouth. Cameron Madgwick, ceo of NZ


Petroleum Exploration and Production Association, said the number of drilling projects being planned in Taranaki will mean a busy period for the industry over the next 12-18 months. With just ten years of natural gas supply left, such exploration is needed. “If we do not make some major finds


very soon it will have real impacts on the nearly 400,000 New Zealand homes and businesses who use natural gas and LNG,” said Madgwick.


Renewable boost to mining It is not just traditional mining and exploration activity that is on the radar for the project forwarding sector – the new boom driven by renewable energy demand also requires an upsurge in mining for new materials. In November, the two-day Technology


and Low Emission Minerals Conference in Perth showcased the breadth of Australian companies advancing battery metal and clean energy projects. It featured emerging and established


companies focusing on lithium, graphite, vanadium, cobalt, manganese, magnesium, rare earths and other minerals associated with clean energy and battery components. Tom Butler, ceo of the International


Council on Mining and Metals, said the sector has a critical role to play in sustainability. In order to achieve the goals set out in the Paris Agreement on climate change – to prevent the global temperature rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels – the world will need more copper and lithium to support renewable technologies. “We will need around 20million tonnes


We have become much more bullish about storage deployments since our last forecast a year ago. This is partly due to faster-than- expected falls in storage system costs...


– Yayoi Sekine, BNEF


more copper and around ten times the amount of lithium for batteries than is currently mined to supply demand, and that is not including electric vehicles,” Butler said. The battery storage sector is growing far


more swiftly than previously predicted. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has suggested batteries will quickly become cheaper than it originally forecast last year, with prices to fall by more than 50 percent through to 2030. Australia will be one of the countries leading this battery charge. “We have become much more bullish


about storage deployments since our last forecast a year ago. This is partly due to faster-than-expected falls in storage system costs, and partly to a greater focus on two emerging applications for the technology – electric vehicle charging and energy access in remote regions,” said Yayoi Sekine, BNEF energy storage analyst. It is not just electric vehicles that will fuel


battery demand: there will also be grid-scale batteries supporting intermittent renewables like wind and solar. Individual Australian states are adding to the demand. Late last year, Tesla installed a 100 MW


battery in South Australia. Its main role has been to provide backup power, able to react in milliseconds, to fill in the gaps when other sources of energy trip or fail. In Victoria a 30 MW battery was unveiled


during October 2018, with another 25 MW battery slated for installation in the future. In New South Wales, the government has announced a USD20 million plan to install up to 900 batteries at hospitals and schools with solar panels. BNEF predicts that energy storage will


grow to a point where it is equivalent to 7 percent of the total installed power capacity globally in 2040. It is perhaps not surprising to see state


Tesla has built a 100 MW battery alongside the Hornsdale wind farm.


www.heavyliftpfi.com


governments getting behind this new wave of investment. Western Australia estimates that lithium could potentially overtake gold as the second-highest-paying royalty revenue to the Western Australia government behind iron ore.


January/February 2019


HLPFI 77


Woodside Energy Ltd


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