Restrictions on fracking and the low oil price have taken the shine off Australia?s bright future for gas since its pioneering coalbed methane-LNG projects began.
Uncertainty continues to cloud the Australian domestic gas market, as the reliability of future gas supply is challenged by LNG export projects, regulatory restrictions ? three states and the Northern Territory have come out against hydraulic fracturing, provisionally or permanently ? and the universal exploration decline.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that total petroleum exploration expenditure fell 19.4% to $318.4mn in the June quarter.
According to the agency, exploration expenditure on production leases fell 31.2% and exploration expenditure on all other areas fell 12.7%. Western Australia saw the largest fall in exploration, down 14.9%. While onshore exploration expenditure fell 35.1% to $62.0mn, the trend estimate for offshore exploration spending fell 13.2% to $259.8mn.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) CEO Malcolm Roberts said data confirmed that oil and gas exploration onshore and offshore Australia is in free fall.
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