The Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke has delayed the decision on the coal seam gas projects in Queensland State to October 22, 2010.
The minister had previously stated that he would stick with the October 11 deadline which his predecessor Peter Garrett had set.
The two companies with projects which are affected by the delay in this ruling are the Australian Energy company Santos Ltd and the British firm BG Group Plc.
Santos Ltd is pending a final investment decision worth Australian $15 billion and BG Group is expected to have a similar investment in the range of Australian $10 to 15 billion by the end of the year.
While most analysts agree that the project will get approved the government is likely to set some conditions prior to approval. Tony Burke’s statement also supported this as he said that the extension was necessary to ensure that he fully considered all relevant matters under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
In the meanwhile investments are at a standstill awaiting the final decision on CSG projects by the government. Other companies such as Origin and ConocoPhillips are also due for environmental approval of their Australia Pacific LNG project in the last quarter of this year.