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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/01/2005   
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Contents >> Energy >> Energy resources

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.

Australia has substantial resources of high quality black coal. Most of these resources are located in New South Wales and Queensland. Small but locally important coal resources occur in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. Brown coal occurs mainly in Victoria with other known resources in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania (Geoscience Australia 2002).

Map 17.2 shows the extent of access to gas resources and major transmission pipelines in Australia. At June 2002, EDR of natural gas totalled 2,219 billion cubic metres (bm3), with the Carnarvon Basin accounting for over 50% of total reserves. The total length of Australia's transmission pipeline system has increased from 9,000 kilometres (km) in 1989 to over 20,000 km in 2001 (APIA 2001).

17.2 GAS RESOURCES - 2002

Map 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).


17.3 ECONOMIC DEMONSTRATED RESOURCES OF PRIMARY ENERGY PRODUCTS(a) - 30 June

Fuel
Units
1992
2002
Percentage change
from 1992 to 2002

Black coal
Gt
51.7
40.8
-21.1
Brown coal
Gt
41.4
37.7
-8.9
Crude oil
GL
244
227
-7.0
Condensate
GL
124
282
127.4
LPG
GL
131
262
100.0
Natural gas
bm3
950
2219
133.8
Uranium
kt
462
648
40.3

(a) Non-renewable resources only.

Source: Australian System of National Accounts (5204.0).


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.


17.4 NET PRESENT VALUE OF PRIMARY ENERGY PRODUCTS - 30 June

1992
2002
Change from 1992 to 2002
Fuel
$m
$m
%

Black coal
3,282
57,711
1,658
Brown coal
169
705
318
Crude oil
13,385
26,363
97
Condensate
2,575
15,537
503
LPG(a)
1,253
7,399
491
Natural gas
14,770
65,546
344
Uranium
2,187
3,117
42
Total
37,621
176,378
369

(a) Naturally occurring.

Source: Australian System of National Accounts (5204.0).


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