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Australia has large identified resources of fossil fuels and uranium. It is ranked in the top six countries in the world for economic demonstrated resources (EDR) of black and brown coal, and has the world's largest EDR of uranium. Australia also has significant reserves of natural gas and crude oil. For a more detailed outline on Australia's energy and mineral resources, see Chapter 16 Mining.
17.2 GAS RESOURCES - 2002
Source: The Australian Gas Association.
Between 1992 and 2002 the EDR of black coal, brown coal, and crude oil have decreased, whereas the EDR of liquified petroleum gas (LPG), condensate, natural gas and uranium have increased in the period (table 17.3). Changes in EDRs can be due to production activity and discoveries and reclassification of resources due to reassessments (such as with black and brown coal in 1999, when some resources previously considered economic were reclassified as subeconomic).
Another way of considering energy and mineral resources is by using net present value (NPV). The NPV is the expected value of the resource based on current market value, with some modifications based on depletion and economic forces. At June 2002 total subsoil assets had an NPV of $239b, of which $176b or 74% was attributed to the NPV of energy assets (table 17.4). The two most significant energy assets were black coal and natural gas which, respectively, accounted for 33% and 37% of the total NPV of energy products. The increase in the value of energy resources between 1992 and 2002 was primarily due to increases in the NPV of black coal and natural gas over this period - the NPV of black coal alone increased seventeen-fold.