19 Sep 2021

Media release: Queensland gas could be bigger than Olympics

The voice of the Australian oil and gas industry today released a comprehensive independent report into Queensland’s gas industry which shows the potential for it to add more value than the 2032 Olympic Games* to the state’s economy.

APPEA Chief Executive Andrew McConville said the EY report showed the oil and gas industry has the potential to turbocharge Queensland’s economy for years to come.

“When it comes to adding economic value to Queensland, natural gas clearly takes the Gold,” Mr McConville said.

“Gas means jobs, gas means cleaner energy and gas means economic prosperity for our state, particularly regional Queensland.

“The report shows the industry has already added $106 billion or 3% per annum to the Queensland economy over the last decade, employing more than 36,000 workers and paying $13 billion in taxes.

“But this is the tip of the iceberg, EY are predicting a bright future for Queensland’s gas industry driven by high demand for cleaner energy in Asia as they look to switch from coal to gas due to our product’s lower emissions.

“EY have found that fully unleashing Queensland’s gas industry potential could result in a further $30 billion in investment producing 7000 PJ of production capacity in the Queensland oil and gas industry over the next 20 years.

“In fact, EY said with the right policy settings a further $129.3 billion could be added to Queensland’s Gross State Product in the next twenty years under a high growth scenario•, with Queensland’s economic output due to gas being a whopping $8.7 billion higher in 2026 — this represents almost 2.5% of the current Queensland economy.

“Even under the low growth scenario** it is $64 billion.

“The benefits of this investment are particularly pronounced in the short-term, with almost 2200 extra full-time jobs created in 2026 under a high growth scenario.

“To put these huge numbers into perspective, the annual tax revenue generated by these new projects would be $1.4 billion – that’s the same as funding 20 primary schools, 25 police stations, 30 fire stations and employing an extra 1000+ teachers and nurses.”

Acting Queensland Director Matt Paull said the report also says that parts of the economy will benefit from a reduction in gas prices and an increase in productivity.

“The benefits for the environment are also immense,” said Mr Paull.

“The Australian Government estimates Australian LNG exports have the potential to lower emissions in LNG-importing countries by about 170 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent (Mt CO2‑e) a year by providing an alternative to higher emissions fuels. That equates to over a third of Australia’s total annual emissions.

“Natural gas has only half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal when used to generate electricity and it can do things renewables simply cannot do such as provide the high temperatures and essential feedstock needed to produce manufactured products like fertilisers, cement, steel and plastics.

“Our industry is making billion-dollar investments in emissions-reduction technologies.  The oil and gas industry has the technology, skills, experience and commercial relationships to develop a world-scale hydrogen industry both domestically and for export. 

“Our industry’s investment in carbon capture and storage is already removing about 40 Mt CO2‑e a year, but we have bigger ambitions to grow this even further.”

*Research by KPMG predicts that hosting the 2032 Games will deliver $8.1 billion in benefits to Queensland including a $4.6 billion economic boost to tourism and trade and $3.5 billion in social improvements such as health, volunteering and community benefits.

**Low growth — Includes investment and production for Queensland oil and gas projects which are currently under development or have a high level of investor commitment. High growth — Building on the low growth pathway, this scenario captures investment and associated production yields for oil and gas projects in Queensland that are prospective but have yet to secure firm commercial commitments. 

Read the full report here