MTA-AUS 2014

CONEXPO-CON/AGG VIP SHOW GUIDE contains Floor Plans and a complete listing of companies exhibiting at the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2014 trade show in Las Vegas March 3-7, 2014. It also contains 2014 forecasts for the Aggregate, Concrete and Cement industries

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MINING & TECHNOLOGY AUSTRALIA 2014 | ISSUE 8 5 UPFRONT WITH A LOT OF THE COUNTRY'S UNCONVENTIONAL shale & tight gas-and the frst productive well-South Australia is in the driver's seat for a whole new energy market even if it's still early days. Steve Freeth reports. In October 2012 veteran oil and gas company Santos, announced that it had produced Australia's frst commercial shale gas well in the Cooper Basin on the Queensland border. Not only was it confrmation of Australia's promise as a world-class producer of unconventional gas resources (UGR), but a signal that South Australia could be a leading player in both the domestic and export natural gas markets for decades to come. Moomba-191, as the well's now known, was still producing gas at a rate of 2 million cubic feet a day almost a year later, a beter result than the average shale gas well in the more mature US market. It took Santos eight years to fnd however, and the company will drill a lot more wells and spend another $200 million before it can begin delivering supplies by its hoped for date of 2015. Even so the company says it's optimistic about its growing investment in the region and is working to cut the costs of exploiting the notoriously expensive resource while building pipeline and processing infrastructure, particularly for the potentially lucrative Asian markets out of Queensland ports. "Australia, and in particular Santos, is well positioned to develop its large unconventional resource base, because of the increasing demand for gas both domestically and in the Asia Pacifc region," Santos's Diana Hof said. "In addition to demand, key factors to us developing these resources are the use of advanced technology and techniques, and increasing the efciency of our operational processes." Heated market THEY'RE NOT THE ONLY ONES HOPING to strike it rich in the Cooper Basin and while the risks and costs are big it hasn't stopped the race to fnd unconventional gas from intensifying. A looming domestic gas shortage sparked by the start of $70 billion coal seam gas (CSG) export projects out of Queensland is an increasingly urgent reason why, but so is the predicted 20 percent jump in world demand for UGR over the next 20 years. The spectacular success of the US's Shale Gas industry over the last decade, which by 2015 will employ close to 900,000 people and contribute $118 billion a year to GDP, also hasn't been lost on either the energy companies who see big profts, or federal, state and territory governments. There's also no denying the resources are here, even if the estimates of just how much, what sort, or how viable keep shifting as exploration, drilling and the technological know-how expands. Last year Australia was thought to have the world's ffth largest shale reserves with around 400 trillion cubic feet (tcf), but in a sign of just how formative the new industry is a report last year by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACLA) suggested that could be as high as 1,000 tcf-and with the Cooper Basin possibly holding over a ffth of it. The potential bonanza has sparked a frenzy of investment activity, joint ventures, farm-in deals and take-over speculation along the way. Some of the world's biggest energy companies like Chevron, BG Group, Total, Conoco Phillips and Statoil have already jumped in and invested close to $2 billion so far to secure their place here. Exploration is just as strong with about a billion dollars' worth of announcements Running on gas

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