The four companies were shortlisted by the Northern Territory Government, after a panel of experts spent a month assessing submissions.
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles said the proposed pipeline is a critical piece of economic development infrastructure and a priority major project for the Government.
“The pipeline will generate investment in regional infrastructure which means real jobs in the bush and roads that open up our remote areas, not only for the pipeline, but for other economic activity as well,” Mr Giles said.
“The quality of the submissions through the Government’s competitive process for the pipeline’s construction has been so high that we now feel it is inevitable that this vital pipeline will be built.
“The submissions give us confidence that this project is seen by the private sector as being commercially viable and that the focus of government support will be around facilitating approval processes. Put plainly, the numbers seem to be stacking up.”
Mr Giles added that the first tranches of gas for the pipeline are expected to come from existing offshore and onshore fields, providing time to get the regulatory environment right for an expanded industry into the future.
“The current local industry can’t support gas exploration and development on its own without the market confidence this pipeline provides. This pipeline will connect them with the volume of customers they need to fund the scale of exploration the Territory needs to fuel new industries into the future,” Mr Giles said.
Three main routes are being considered for the proposed pipeline, with one option being a 600 km pipeline from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa at an estimated cost of $A900 million.
The second option involves a 1,175 km pipeline from Alice Springs to the Santos-operated Moomba gas plant in South Australia for approximately $A1.3 billion, while APA has also flagged a potential 700 km pipeline connection to the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline.