APPEA backs increased exploration in Australia’s frontier areas

Offshore staff

CANBERRA, Australia – The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) says exploration drilling off the country’s shores is at its lowest level for 20 years.

This follows new data on petroleum expenditure for 2015-16 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

APPEA CEO Dr. Malcolm Roberts said: “Over the last two years, spending on onshore and offshore exploration has fallen by almost two-thirds…

“The latest data continues a worrying trend that has been evident for many years, even when commodity prices were much higher. If the slide in exploration continues, Australian gas users will face more uncertainty about future supply and higher gas prices.

“APPEA welcomes the Commonwealth initiative to examine the exploration and development framework through the Offshore Resource Management Review. We especially welcome the focus on frontier regions and less-explored areas that may offer significant untapped potential.”

Dr. Roberts also welcomed the $100 million in new funding for Geoscience Australia, announced in the last federal budget.

“The recent Council of Australian Governments’ Energy Council meeting highlighted the urgent need to develop new gas reserves,” he continued, “given the likely supply shortfall in 2019. Production from the key basins in South Australia and offshore Victoria will begin to fall from 2017.

“We must find and develop new supplies of gas to offset falling output from Australia’s long-established gas fields.”


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