Speaking at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference and Exhibition 2015, Mr Macfarlane said that while difficult market conditions may dampen investment in new projects until there are signs of a turn in the commodity cycle, industry will need to maintain community engagement to encourage natural gas development, particularly on the east coast.
“There has been an unnecessary scare campaign about unconventional gas, in particular CSG, which has not served the community’s interest,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“Unconventional gas accounts for 40 per cent of production in the eastern gas markets and supports jobs, local supply and a major export sector. Its importance is set to grow.”
Mr Macfarlane added that significant growth in the Asian market will ensure that demand for LNG exports will be maintained.
Following the official launch of the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project on Curtis Island last week, Mr Macfarlane commented that it’s not just Gladstone that has benefitted from he project, but it’s also the rural communities at the end of that pipeline.
“Literally hundreds of millions of dollars pumped into rural communities,” Mr Macfarlane said.
Mr Macfarlane said the gas industries contribution to regional communities should not be underestimated.
Securing the next wave of investment
Mr Macfarlane also launched the 2015 offshore petroleum exploration acreage release at the convention, including 29 areas across eight basins in Commonwealth waters in the offshore areas of the Northern Territory, the Ashmore and Cartier islands, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
Mr Macfarlane said the release will enhance the development of Australia’s natural gas supplies, with Australia being the only LNG-producing country in the world with projects in construction that use three LNG production models, utilising conventional offshore gas with onshore production, floating LNG (FLNG) production and CSG-based LNG production.