However nationally, petroleum, oil and gas production all dropped in the three months to 30 September 2013, with Australian petroleum production down 5.9 per cent in the quarter, falling to 138.1 MMboe.
Electricity generation on the east coast decreased by three per cent, reflecting a warmer winter and soft industrial demand. Wind and solar were the only types of generation that grew – by 46 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.
“One of the major issues facing the new Federal Government is rising unemployment as investment in LNG and other resources projects peaks,”? explained EnergyQuest Chief Executive Dr Graeme Bethune.
“The Reserve Bank has already warned that resource sector investment – including mining – is now declining, while non-mining investment is expected to remain subdued,”? he said.
“As a result, the labour market is softening.
“In the oil and gas sector, the seven LNG projects currently under construction will be completed around 2017. These projects employ huge numbers of people – with just two projects (Gorgon’s Barrow Island project and QGC’s QCLNG project) currently employing more than 20,000 people.
“There is little in the pipeline in the way of new LNG projects once the current round is finished.
“New Australian greenfield projects are regarded as being too expensive, and while there is potential for brownfield expansion, there is nothing firm yet.
“This is a major challenge for both the new Federal Government and the industry.”?
“The Abbott Federal Government has its work cut out for it – some things are within its control, such as removing duplication between state and federal environmental regulations – and they have made an early start,”? Dr Bethune said.
“Other areas are proving, and will continue to be, harder – like getting legislation through the Senate to abolish the carbon tax, and facilitating onshore gas development in NSW and Victoria in the face of opposition from Coalition state governments,”? he said.
“The big question is how easily or not the Federal Government can implement key policies that currently rely on the Senate or state government policies.”?