Geoscience Australia has released its Toward Future Energy Discovery, detailing the outcomes and achievements of the Australian Government’s five-year, $134 million Energy Security Initiative.


The report ‘points the way to new opportunities’ for minerals and petroleum discovery in Australia in an attempt to give ‘new impetus’ for exploration activity across the country and makes a number of policy suggestions.


Divided into offshore and onshore energy security programs, the report suggests a number of potential energy policies in petroleum and minerals.


Launching the report as part of an address to the CEDA State of the Nation conference on Australia’s resources and energy future in Canberra, Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson underscored the importance of this work to maintaining energy security.


"Continued exploration for resources is fundamental to maintaining energy security," Minister Ferguson said.


"Industry has committed more than $600 million in offshore exploration in initial three year work programs with proposed secondary programs worth an additional $1 billion.


"Additional exploration expenditure onshore resulting from this work is estimated to exceed $300 million.”


The report finds that Australia ‘remains relatively under-explored for conventional oil and gas deposits’, finding that the country has less than 10,200 wells on and offshore in an area that covers 13.5 million square kilometers in offshore jurisdiction.


“There are about 40 offshore sedimentary basins which range from mature areas producing hydrocarbons to remote frontiers which have never been drilled but may have hydrocarbon potential” The report finds


In addition to the seismic data, about 200 000 line kilometres of new aeromagnetic data covering extensive areas of the offshore Canning, Bass, deepwater Otway and Sorell basins, were acquired to assist in the assessment of the geology and petroleum potential of these areas prior to the release of exploration acreage.


The complete report is available here