Australia to become the world’s largest gas exporter by 2030, according to Australasian Oil and Gas Conference poll

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Perth -- Oil and gas industry professionals are confident in Australia’s ability to become the world’s largest gas exporter, according to research conducted in February at the Australasian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (AOG) in Perth.

  • Delegates at the 2012 Australasian Oil and Gas Conference forecast huge growth in Australia’s role in the energy markets, tipping it to become the world’s largest gas exporter by 2030
  • Poll reveals concerns over efforts to nurture local talent and encourage future generations to the sector
  • Oil and gas professionals also optimistic about new Asia Pacific projects, despite increased regulation

In an Industry Snapshot Poll organised by GL Noble Denton, 84% of participants said that Australia would become the premium exporter of gas by 2030, while 16% thought that it would not. Currently, Australia is the world’s fourth largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), after Qatar, Indonesia and Malaysia, and the tenth largest exporter of natural gas.

The GL Noble Denton Industry Snapshot Poll also revealed concern over efforts to attract younger generations to the oil and gas industry, highlighting the sector’s apprehension about a potential future shortage of skilled professionals. Asked if they believed that the country was doing enough to encourage talent into the industry, 68% of industry professionals said they thought Australia should invest more in developing a local skills base, while 32% thought that the country was doing enough to increase the pool of local professionals. These poll results echo the findings of a recent GL Noble Denton-commissioned Economist Intelligence Unit industry report*, which estimates that there will be a shortage of 150,000 people needed to develop projects in Western Australia by 2015.

Optimism about growth in the Asia Pacific region was also displayed in the poll, despite regulatory changes in the region. Asked if increased regulation would be detrimental to prospects for new oil and gas projects in Asia and the Pacific, 61% of industry professionals said they thought it would not, indicating significant confidence in the region’s growth prospects.

Richard Palmer, GL Noble Denton’s country manager for Australia, said: “The result of this research reflects the rapid rise to prominence of Australia’s oil and gas industry and the optimism of its professional community as the country strives to become a world-leading oil and gas hub over the next 20 years.

“However, alongside Australia’s growth, there is concern as to where the skilled professionals required to meet the demands of new projects will come from. It is clear that we need to work together more cohesively to help educate emerging young talent on the benefits of joining a thriving local industry.”

GL Noble Denton’s executive vice president for Asia Pacific, Richard Bailey, added: “The result of this poll shows clear confidence for strong growth in the Asia Pacific region. Increased regulation often brings the prospect of higher operating overheads, project delays, and increased litigation. Yet, according to the oil and gas professionals we surveyed, the development of new projects in the region would not be negatively impacted if the regulatory landscape was to change.“

The Industry Snapshot Poll was conducted during the Australasian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, held in Perth in February 2012, which was estimated to have attracted more than 11,000 industry professionals from across the world. The poll was also completed online by senior professionals from across the industry.

A copy of Big Spenders, the Economist Intelligence Unit report on the outlook for the oil and gas industry, is also available from www.gl-nobledenton.com.

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