Australia’s Comet Ridge Ltd. is expanding in the Bowen Basin’s Mahalo Gas Hub with an award by the Queensland Government as preferred tenderer for an additional gas block in the area.

The award closely follows Comet Ridge’s $5 million grant received from the Queensland Government for a lateral pilot to be drilled and tested in Comet’s 100%-held Mahalo East Block (ATP 2061).

Called the Mahalo Far East Extension (PLR2023-1-1), the block covers an area of 66 sq km, or 21 sub blocks. The block is located 85 km south east of Emerald, north of Mahalo East and west of Mahalo Far East (ATP 2063). Comet will be the operator of the block on a 100% equity basis.

“Natural gas is critically important for both keeping the lights on and manufacturing thousands of key products,” Comet Ridge’s Managing Director Tor McCaul said in the company’s press release. “The Mahalo Hub gas will contribute to both of those outcomes in eastern Australia and the award of this block increases our position in this strategically important asset.”

The new block does not have Queensland Government domestic market supply obligations.

Like the northern- and eastern-area Mahalo blocks, Comet Ridge will pursue a standard condition environmental approval and Native title arrangements to be formally awarded the Authority to Prospect.