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. The world’s largest exporter of coal, Australia, is already a major player in the Coal Seam Gas business and now has found shale gas reserves buried deep under its surface. The fourth largest LNG exporter, Australia might soon become the world’s top most LNG exporter. Australia has 396 Trillion Cubic Feet of recoverable reserves of shale gas spread all over the country. With the shale gas boom engulfing the world right now, Australia does not want to be left behind. It has considerable shale gas reserves that will boost its natural gas exports even further. After the astounding success of shale gas in making US self sufficient in energy, every country is now looking to develop its shale gas reserves and start production as soon as possible. Australia, too, wants to repeat the US shale gas success story but with its own plotline. While, for the US, shale gas proved to be an important tool in cutting its natural gas imports, for Australia, it is a way to get more money by exporting to its largest market, Asia.
The future of shale gas will largely depend on the assessments that will be done in the next couple of years, which will establish that the estimated reserves as commercially recoverable or not. The investments will be riding on this information and as soon as a positive outlook is presented, companies will rush in to get a share of the shale gas pie in Australia. There is little speculation right now regarding the productivity of these reserves but the international companies are not leaving anything to chance. The shale gas process of exploration and production will, by itself, take at least three to four years to begin production. The future, though, rides on the initial assessment of these shale plays.