Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts

THE OIL price crash of April will have a long lasting, global, impact on exploration, but industry could be encouraged by the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which showed exploration had risen albeit marginally.
Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts Australian oil and gas exploration spending lifts

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

 

Petroleum exploration expenditure in Australia - both onshore and offshore combined - rose over the September quarter by about 4%, or A$8.4 million, to $220.2 million. 

This compares to $211 million in the June quarter which was the worst period for exploration in over a decade. 

Queensland led the way with oil and gas operators spending about $84 million over the period. Western Australia was not too far behind with companies spending $70.2 million in exploration. 

Explorers in South Australia spend 26.8 million while industry spend about $20 million in the Northern Territory. 

Exploration spending in New South Wales was unchanged from the June quarter at about $1.6 million. 

Onshore oil and gas exploration spending jumped from $146 million in the June quarter to $155.4 million over the three months ending September 30.  In fact, onshore exploration spending was $3.1 million higher than the September quarter of 2019 and nearly $50 million higher than the same period in 2018.

Offshore petroleum exploration expenditure fell to a new low however, offsetting spending increases onshore. 

This was expected, after a recent report from the Chief Economist found onshore petroleum was worth more than offshore for the first time in three decades, with a 52% increase over the period period compared with the 27% fall in the offshore sector. 

Over the third quarter Australian oil and gas companies spent just $64.8 million on offshore exploration. This is down from $65 million in the June quarter and a fall of $145 million compared to this time last year. 

Year-to-date industry has spent $747.4 million on exploration. 

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