06 Jul 2021

APPEA in the Media: A Letter to the Editor – It’s time for some facts about oil and gas

Note: This letter by APPEA Chief Executive Andrew McConville ran in the The Australian Financial Review on 23 June 2021.

Oil and gas sector vital in recovery process

Today I write to put some facts on the table about the oil and gas industry which during COVID played a big part ensuring the lights stayed on, factories still produced Australian-made goods and exports continued to move.

Fact one – while the exact number can move around, last year, only 30% of our product was used across Australia in electricity generation, the rest is used doing things that renewables simply can’t do such as providing feedstock to manufacturing plants and helping create everyday products such as clothes, computers, phones, fertilisers and vital medical equipment such as heart valves.

Fact two – in Australia, our industry contributes 3% to Australia’s GDP and around 13% of our total exports, supporting 80,000 jobs and hundreds of thousands more jobs indirectly in electricity generation, manufacturing, transport and other industries that rely on our output.  We provide significant revenue to state governments to help pay for new frontline workers and build new hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

Fact three – our industry is doing a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to tackling climate change. The Australian Government estimates Australia’s LNG has the potential to lower emissions in LNG importing countries by around 170 million tonnes CO2- each year by providing an alternative to higher emissions fuels – the equivalent of almost one-third of Australia’s total annual emissions.

Fact four – natural gas plays an important role in complementing renewable energy and our industry is also leading the world in the practical development of carbon capture and storage and hydrogen to ensure a cleaner, lower carbon energy future.

Fact five – the need for gas for a cleaner energy future is publicly supported by the United Nations, CSIRO, Australia’s Chief Scientist, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission, the former Chief Scientist of NSW, the Independent Planning Commission and the Australian Council of Learned Academies.

Fact six – there is extremely strong support for the role of natural gas with more than 70% of Australians believing natural gas has a role to play in Australia’s future energy mix, and with it being seen as the cleanest energy source after renewables, significantly ahead of nuclear and coal energy.

These are simply the facts.

Andrew McConville