Qld gas set to power the economy - report

20th September 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – An independent report commissioned by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has found that fully unleashing Queensland’s gas industry potential could result in a further A$30-billion in investment producing 7 000 PJ of production capacity in the Queensland oil and gas industry over the next 20 years.

The report, undertaken by Ernst & Young (EY) noted that with the right policy settings a further A$129.3-billion could be added to Queensland’s gross state product in the next 20 years under a high growth scenario, with Queensland’s economic output due to gas being A$8.7-billion higher in 2026, representing almost 2.5% of the current Queensland economy.

Appea CEO Andrew McConville said the EY report showed the oil and gas industry had the potential to turbocharge Queensland’s economy for years to come.

“When it comes to adding economic value to Queensland, natural gas clearly takes the Gold. Gas means jobs, gas means cleaner energy and gas means economic prosperity for our state, particularly regional Queensland.

“The report shows the industry has already added A$106-billion, or 3% per annum, to the Queensland economy over the last decade, employing more than 36 000 workers and paying $13-billion in taxes.

“But this is the tip of the iceberg, EY are predicting a bright future for Queensland’s gas industry driven by high demand for cleaner energy in Asia as they look to switch from coal to gas due to our product’s lower emissions.”

McConville said that the benefits of this investment were particularly pronounced in the short term, with almost 2 200 extra full-time jobs created in 2026 under a high growth scenario.

“To put these huge numbers into perspective, the annual tax revenue generated by these new projects would be A$1.4-billion; that’s the same as funding 20 primary schools, 25 police stations, 30 fire stations and employing an extra 1 000+ teachers and nurses.”

Acting Queensland director Matt Paull said the report also says that parts of the economy will benefit from a reduction in gas prices and an increase in productivity.

“The benefits for the environment are also immense,” said Paull.

“The Australian government estimates Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have the potential to lower emissions in LNG-importing countries by about 170-million tonnes of CO2-equivalent a year by providing an alternative to higher emissions fuels. That equates to over a third of Australia’s total annual emissions.

“Natural gas has only half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal when used to generate electricity and it can do things renewables simply cannot do such as provide the high temperatures and essential feedstock needed to produce manufactured products like fertilisers, cement, steel and plastics.

“Our industry is making billion-dollar investments in emissions-reduction technologies. The oil and gas industry has the technology, skills, experience and commercial relationships to develop a world-scale hydrogen industry both domestically and for export. 

“Our industry’s investment in carbon capture and storage is already removing about 40-million tonnes CO2‑equivalent a year, but we have bigger ambitions to grow this even further.”