SANTOS shale gas achievement a national first



Unconventional gas will now be used in homes around the state in a national first after SANTOS began commercial operation of its first shale gas well.

Premier Jay Weatherill, turning the tap on Moomba-191 well in the state's north, said it was a significant milestone for the industry and highlights the importance of the unconventional gas industry.

"Unconventional gas has always been regarded as something that would happen in the future but today's opening demonstrates that that future has arrived," he said.

"The US economy has been transformed by the exploitation of the massive shale gas reserves which has also led to the re-emergence of their advanced manufacturing sector.

"And today's achievement is a significant step towards unlocking the vast unconventional gas potential of the Cooper Basin.

"We are now poised to capitalise on the huge potential of this resource in our State's far north - just the sort of outcome contemplated when we drafted South Australia's Roadmap for Unconventional Gas Projects.

"South Australia has led the nation in this field for a long time through the outstanding work of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy."

Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis congratulated Santos on today's milestone.

"What we are seeing in SA now is the beginning of an energy revolution," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"I see this as a game changer for our State. Even in its infancy South Australia's unconventional gas sector has the potential to deliver billions of dollars of investment, creating wealth and jobs.

"Today's landmark event clearly demonstrates that the Cooper Basin should not be regarded as a mature resource but instead as an energy province that is in its first youthful flushes.

"I am confident the development of unconventional gas will provide unprecedented opportunities not just for energy but across a wide range of sectors of our economy.

"The landmark Road Map that we are close to finalising will inform investor strategies as well as build public confidence in the policies, programs and regulations we are putting in place.

"Pioneers such as Santos, Beach Energy and Origin Energy, who are ushering in the renaissance of the Cooper Basin, are boldly blazing a trail for other investors to follow."