South Australia Oil And Gas Exploration Up 47%

South Australia Oil And Gas Exploration Up 47%

South Australia Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis

Oil And Gas Exploration In South Australia Increases 47%

Victor P Taffa

Oil and gas exploration expenditure increased an incredible 47 % on original terms last quarter, the highest rate of growth in 18 months.

“This degree of growth is a strong sign of confidence returning to the sector and a bright future for the oil and gas industry in South Australia.” Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis said.

A total of $34.8 Million was spent by oil and gas companies on exploration, representing a huge endorsement for a sector that employs more than 3,000 South Australians.

Growth in exploration was driven primarily by the commencement of drilling at 10 new wells in the Cooper Basin.

This increase is the first significant upturn in exploration since the global oil price plunge in 2014.

“The oil and gas sector already employs more than 3,000 South Australians, but this new activity shows the industry has the potential to grow further in this State.” Mr. Koutsantonis said.

News comes as Federal Industry Minister Greg Hunt today convened a crisis meeting with energy executives to discuss spiralling gas prices and the damaging impact of State Government bans on gas exploration and development in New South Wales and Victoria.

“The gas ban announced by Liberal Leader Steven Marshall announced last week put these jobs at risk.”

Background

Baseload power supply in South Australia is provided by gas-fired electricity generators.

State Government announced in October a $24 Million grant program to help gas companies to extract more gas and supply it to South Australia electricity generators in order to put downward pressure on power prices.

In addition to the Cooper Basin, the Otway Basin in the State’s South East contains immense reserves of gas that have the potential to provide energy security to South Australia and create many more jobs in the sector.

Last week Liberal Leader Steven Marshall announced a ban on unconventional gas development in the South East. The announcement was roundly condemned by business groups and industry, including Business SA and SANTOS, as destined to increase power prices, damage SA’s investment prospects and put jobs at risk.