Australia’s oil and gas sector agrees that strong future LNG export earnings indicate a need for regulatory certainty in areas such as project approvals to encourage new gas supply investment.
The Resources and Energy Quarterly September 2023 report reveals LNG exports are predicted to total $71 billion this financial year as resources exports come off record highs to total $400 billion.
LNG exports were expected to total $63 billion in 2024-25.
Australian Energy Producers Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch stated that these strong forecasts are a reminder of the need for regulatory approval certainty so companies can invest in new gas supply and secure future economic benefits for Australia.
“LNG exports worth $71 billion support thousands of jobs, flow through to Australian businesses via tens of billions in industry expenditure and deliver billions more to governments to help build hospitals and roads. But these benefits come after a long, high-risk and capital-intensive process needing regulatory certainty.
“Investment barriers – such as the growing uncertainty over vague regulations and the logjam of approvals with the national regulator – threaten this economic windfall for Australians. To continue to produce these results, Australia must ensure an approval means an approval.
“Reforms are desperately needed so Australia can avoid recent cases in which approvals for two major projects – Woodside Energy’s $16.5 billion Scarborough development off Western Australia and Santos’ $5.8 billion Barossa project off the Northern Territory – were overturned,” said McCulloch.
Ms McCulloch said there was increasing competition in global LNG markets and Australia must not miss the opportunity as Qatar and the US increased output and cemented their position in the market.
“Our LNG exports can also help importing nations lower emissions by switching to gas,” said McCulloch.
The report found oil exports would hit $15 billion this financial year, up from $13 billion in 2022-23. They were expected to record $12 billion in 2024-25.