Premier Jay Weatherill said today official figures show spending on the search for oil and gas in South Australia had broken through the $500 million barrier in 2013/14 to $531.3 million.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show combined minerals and petroleum exploration reached a record high of $647.6 million for South Australia, up from $616.7 million for 2012-13.
The ABS figures show spending on exploration for petroleum jumped 186.6 per cent to $265.7 million in the June quarter from $92.7 million in the March quarter.
Spending on petroleum exploration in South Australia in the quarter outperformed all other states except the resource-rich Western Australia.
Mr Weatherill, who is acting Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, said the ABS figures highlight an outstanding performance by the energy companies operating in South Australia.
“We are rewriting the record books as South Australia’s oil and gas sector experiences a new lease of life,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Recent reporting to the Australian Stock Exchange by our oil and gas producers shows output reached record levels in the past year.
“Now we have exploration figures confirming the huge amount of investment that is pouring into our State to identify new oil and gas wells and define our potential for natural gas in unconventional reservoirs.”
“The record levels of investment in exploration is creating jobs and boosting regional economies across our State.”
South Australia’s mineral exploration expenditure for the June 2014 quarter rose 17.3 per cent to $29.1 million in the June quarter, up from $24.8 million in the March quarter.
Mr Weatherill said junior explorers continue to face difficulties raising capital which had been reflected by modest spending increases for mineral exploration.
“Hopefully the recently approved legislation to improve access to the Woomera Prohibited Area will help step up expenditure on minerals exploration,” he said.
“The South Australian Government has invested $2 million to create a major new package of geoscientific data sourced from the WPA Gawler Craton Gravity Survey.
“By providing high-resolution data covering about 42,500 square kilometres, we are helping explorers with tenements in the Gawler Craton to better target the next major discovery.”
Source:Premier Jay Weatherill