Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production

AUSTRALIAN petroleum production increased by 6.4% in 2005 to reach 446 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to new estimates released by consultancy EnergyQuest.
Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production Strong growth in 2005 Australian petroleum production

EnergyQuest head Dr Graeme Bethune said the consultancy estimated that this growth in production plus higher prices increased the total dollar value of 2005 Australian petroleum production to a record A$21.9 billion, a 30% increase from 2004.

The growth in volume of production resulted from growth in liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the North West Shelf in Western Australia (up 25%), and coal seam methane (CSM) in Queensland and NSW (up 89%).

The Australian domestic gas market grew by 4.7%, mainly due to growth in coal seam gas. Oil production declined slightly and production of natural gas liquids was stable.

“Australian LNG is growing much faster than is generally realised,” Bethune said

“The growth in LNG production last year was more than the total amount of gas consumed in NSW. Last year the total volume of LNG exported exceeded the total amount of gas consumed in the four eastern states for the first time.

“More than 40% of Australian gas production is already exported as LNG and this is growing. The North West Shelf is expanding, the new Bayu-Undan LNG project is starting production and there is good progress on other LNG projects.”

Meanwhile, CSM is also growing quickly on the east coast, especially in Queensland, providing a viable and economic alternative to conventional gas, he said.

The estimates have been compiled from a comprehensive database of nearly 200 company reports and are published in a new report, EnergyQuarterly. The report provides, for the first time, a detailed breakdown and analysis of Australian production by company, field and state, for domestic gas, LNG, oil, condensate and LPG.

Western Australia continued to dominate Australian petroleum production, with production growing by nearly 10% to 281 million boe. The state’s share of national production increased from 61% to 63%.

Eastern states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia) production of conventional gas and ethane grew by 1.6%, to 522 petajoules (PJ). Production of CSM grew by 89% to 53 PJ, around 9% of east coast production. Total east coast gas production grew by 6%.

Queensland CSM production more than doubled, growing from 21PJ to 45PJ.

Victorian production declined by 6% to 89 million boe but the state continues to be an important petroleum producer, contributing around 20% of Australian production. Several new Victorian gas projects are coming on stream this year.

Cooper Basin production increased by 6% to 46.3 million boe, reflecting a 22% increase in oil production, together with recovery from production disruptions in early 2004.

Northern Territory production declined due to falling production from the Laminaria oil field, but this was partly offset by growing Bayu-Undan production. Total production was about 15 million boe.

Australian oil production fell by around two million barrels to 125 million barrels.

Australian condensate and LPG production were essentially flat, at 43 million barrels and 2.3 million tonnes respectively. This reflects the allocation of 90% of the production of the Bayu-Undan project to East Timor.

East Timorese petroleum production grew from 15 million boe to 24 million boe, with an estimated sales value of A$1.9 billion.

The figures in this report are based on published data from Australian listed oil and gas companies and inferred production by companies listed overseas. Accordingly the figures are estimates. Final national figures will be published in due course by ABARE and APPEA.

Further information is available from Dr Graeme Bethune (08 8431 7903 or 0419 828 617) or at

Copies of the report are available by emailing EnergyQuest: or by calling 1300 658 966.