PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Australian oil and gas industry recorded a trade surplus for the first time in 13 years in 2016/17, new data from the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has shown.
Appea on Monday reported that owing to a 35% increase in the value of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in 2016/17, compared with 2015/16, Australia’s exports reached A$30.5-billion, compared with imports valued at A$26.9-billion.
Furthermore, Australia’s oil and gas trade balance was likely to remain in surplus in the near future, as LNG exports continued to increase.
Australian gas production increased by almost 21% in 2017, compared with 2016, and has more than doubled in the last decade. Conventional gas production in 2017 reached 2.595-tillion cubic feet (tcf), while natural gas produced from coal seams reached 1.26 tcf, and LNG exports reached 2.78 tcf.
Meanwhile, Australian petroleum liquid production fell by 3.4% in 2017, compared with 2016, with a total of 122-million barrels produced, which Appea noted was well below half of the peak production in 2000.
Appea pointed out that the oil and gas industry in Australia had invested more than A$300-billion in the economy over the last decade, with more than A$230-billion worth of projects in the pipeline at the end of December last year.
While 2017 saw some growth in onshore oil exploration, Appea noted that unfavourable market conditions, regulatory and policy uncertainty and restricted access continued to frustrate explorers, with offshore exploration remaining at record lows.