Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has revealed that due to Australia’s 61 per cent increased value on liquified natural gas (LNG) exports over the past 30 years, the nation has been able to maintain economic resilience during COVID-19.
The association’s key statistics 2020 publication has reaffirmed the importance of LNG in supporting Australia’s economic resilience.
Australia’s natural gas production (domestic use and LNG) increased by 11 per cent in 2019 compared with 2018, with production now doubling over the last five years.
In 2019, Western Australia recorded the highest LNG export with 2327.4 billion cubic feet (bcf), followed by Queensland with 1169.3bcf.
Australian oil production jumped to its highest level since 2010 in 2018, while natural gas production continued to grow and set new records as higher demand is seen in Australia.
However, in January 2020 the price of Brent crude oil was $US66 ($97.22) per barrel and by April the average had declined by 72 per cent to $18.38. For the first time in history, American crude oil futures dipped below zero.
In addition, Australian petroleum liquids production rebounded in 2019 to 172 million barrels up 37 per cent compared to 2018, which was due to increased condensate production from the new Australian LNG projects.
APPEA outlined that Australia recorded the highest surplus in 30 years with a $22.5 billion surplus in the trade of oil and gas.
This was a result of LNG exports increasing in value by 61 per cent, with the increase exports contributing to Australia’s economic growth and maintaining resilience in the face of COVID-19.
“Oil and gas exploration is vital for Australia’s energy security. Sustainable growth in the industry depends on the level of exploration. Oil and gas cannot be produced without first locating new resources and these cannot be discovered without drilling wells,” APPEA outlined in its key statistics report.
The report further highlighted that exploration statistics up to December 2019 represented an improvement in terms of both onshore and offshore exploration wells drilled. However, activity remained low compared to the highs of the previous decade.
While COVID-19 has seen projects delayed in the face of challenging market conditions, the oil and gas industry had over $88 billion worth of projects in the pipeline as of October 2019.