The Australian oil and gas industry says Victoria, the Northern Territory and New South Wales have been shamed as some of the world’s most unattractive destinations for oil and gas investment.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) says their rankings in Fraser Institute’s 11th annual survey on ‘barriers to investment’ shows that local and global investors see a worsening policy environment in Australia.
The survey shows that Victoria, the NT and NSW – jurisdictions that have banned or restricted onshore gas development – have the dubious distinction of joining Venezuela, Libya and Iraq in the 15-least attractive investment destinations in the world.
For the NT, imposing a moratorium in 2016 has seen it plummet from Australia’s second-most attractive jurisdiction in 2015 to second-worst in 2017.
“Regulatory cost, duplication and policy uncertainty across most Australian jurisdictions are a strong deterrent to investors risking capital on new projects,” said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.
“The results show that even if NSW, the NT and Victoria lift their restrictions on gas extraction they will have work to do to regain investors’ trust.
“Queensland also has work to do after sliding down the rankings for the second consecutive year because of regulatory uncertainty, compliance costs and labor regulations.
“We encourage the new Queensland Government to reverse this worrying trend.
“All governments can buck these alarming trends by providing strong leadership and sensible regulatory oversight to create jobs, boost the economy and secure energy supply.”
The survey results were not all bad news for Australia – South Australia moved back into the global top 10 of most attractive investment destinations.
“Successive South Australian governments have invested strongly in positioning the state as a leading destination for petroleum investment,” Dr Roberts said.
“However, this bipartisan support is under threat in the lead up to the March state election with the Liberal Party promising to impose a moratorium on gas development in the state’s South-East.
“The Fraser Institute report is a warning to all political parties of the damage caused by unnecessary moratoriums, restrictions and bans on gas development.”
More than 330 respondents participated in the survey this year, providing sufficient data to evaluate 97 jurisdictions that hold 52% of proved global oil and gas reserves and account for 66% of global oil and gas production..