One of the world’s largest natural gas exporters has found a new resource to boost up its profile. While the conventional natural gas reserves seem to be never ending in Australia, it has started tapping its unconventional resources. Australia is sitting on nearly 6% of the world’s shale gas reserves, i.e. 437 Trillion Cubic Feet. These are in addition to its already proven natural gas and oil reserves that make it one of the few distinguished energy rich nations. These shale gas reserves, though found a little late, have the proper Total Organic Content and the perfect environment of the depth of gas burial and requisite amount of temperature for its maturation.
Australia has a geological edge over other nations with shale gas reserves, the presence of source rocks which is evident by its huge conventional natural gas reserves. Australia has large natural gas reserves and even though it has been exploiting them for decades, they have not disappointed the world. Source rocks are rocks where the oil and gas mature or are ‘cooked’. The organic matter is buried in between the sediments deposited over hundreds of thousands of years on which temperature and pressure have acted to change that organic matter into kerogen, an intermediate product in the process of oil and gas formation. These kerogen deposits, with more time and action, are converted into liquid and gaseous state we call oil and gas, which is called ‘cooking’. When oil and gas is found in shale rocks, it is called shale oil or gas.
The exploration of shale gas has just started in Australia and the future, according to the estimated reserves, looks bright. 437 Trillion Cubic Feet of recoverable reserves will not be developed in a jiffy and will take a long time before any commercial production can start. The Australian government is looking to develop these reserves rapidly and has already started giving away the blocks. A lot of domestic companies have bought licenses from the government to develop shale gas blocks and many more are joining the bandwagon. The foreign companies, with their technological expertise, are also developing these blocks in partnership with the domestic firms. There are many challenges to be faced along the road but none that can’t be overcome.
The infant state of Australian shale gas has unbound opportunities for the future. The huge reserves that have been found, though less comparatively, will open a plethora of opportunities for Australia. The country already has a big market for its natural gas exports which is only going to be become wider. The domestic investment to develop these reserves will help Australia become energy secure. The foreign investment will help make the Australian economy even stronger.
“Australia Shale Gas Industry Analysis” Report Highlights: