A report indicating discovery of oil in the Great Australian Bight could deliver some 5000 full-time jobs and $7 billion a year in payments to government has been welcomed by Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan.
“If commercial amounts of oil or gas were discovered in the Great Australian Bight, it could provide a major boost to the national economy and to the economy of South Australia in particular,” Mr Canavan said.
“It highlights why the Coalition Government is committed to encouraging the exploration and development of Australia’s offshore petroleum resources in the Great Australian Bight and other Commonwealth waters.”
Mr Canavan said that, while oil and gas had not yet been discovered in the Great Australian Bight (GAB), the region was highly prospective.
“We will work with all current titleholders to develop this important oil and gas frontier, which could be as significant as Bass Strait.
“I was pleased to include an area in the GAB for release as part of the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage release in May.
“The report – compiled by ACIL Allen Consulting for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association – says discovery of a resource equivalent to that in Bass Strait could support 1500 jobs in South Australia over the following 40 years, with a further 3400 jobs nationwide.
“Payments over the same period to the South Australian and Commonwealth Governments – including company tax, petroleum resource rent tax, payroll tax and a number of other taxes – could be more than $300 billion.”
Mr Canavan emphasised that Australia had robust environmental regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration and production, and no project would be approved that cannot show compliance with these regulations.
“All offshore oil and gas activities in Commonwealth waters, including in the GAB, are subject to a rigorous assessment process by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority,” Mr Canavan said.
“This means that past exploration in the GAB – including drilling of a dozen wells since 1972 – has been conducted in an environmentally responsible way.
“Australia has a world-leading oil and gas industry, which is essential for Australia’s economic prosperity and energy security.
“The Coalition Government will continue to put in place policies that drive our prosperity and encourage ongoing investment and jobs growth in this sector.”