Natural gas is a proven, reliable and cost-efficient energy source for power generation and is expected to be the fastest-growing major fuel through 2040, as it grows to supply around 30 percent of the world’s energy needs. It is estimated that global demand for natural gas will be 60 percent higher by 2040 than it was in 2010, overtaking coal as the world’s second-largest source of energy.
The expansion of natural gas is a prime example of how technological advances have enabled energy sources to adapt to the world’s changing needs. What began as a fuel to provide light has today evolved into a powerful tool for meeting rising demand for energy, while also helping to curb growth in energy-related CO2 emissions. When used to generate electricity, gas can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 60 percent versus coal.
The world will need about 30 percent more energy by 2040, even with significant efficiency gains, and this increase in demand needs to be matched by an increase in supply. It must also reflect progress in reducing carbon emissions, particularly from power generation as this sector becomes more prominent around the world. Most of this increase in global demand will come from the developing world, where non-OECD economies are expected to grow fairly rapidly. This increase in economic prosperity, and thus improvement in the lives of millions of people, will be fueled in large measure by natural gas. Australia’s natural gas will play an increasingly important role in meeting the growing demand for energy in the Asia Pacific region, while at the same helping power economic growth and improving living standards.
Australian gas projects
ExxonMobil is investing more than $10 billion in major gas projects such as the Kipper Tuna Turrum Project in Victoria and the Gorgon Project in Western Australia, to develop Australia’s natural gas resources and deliver cleaner-burning energy.
The Kipper Tuna Turrum Project is the largest domestic gas development on the eastern seaboard. The $4.4 billion project will develop cleaner-burning natural gas supplies to help secure Victoria’s energy future, and holds enough energy to power a city of a million people for 35 years.
ExxonMobil is a 25 percent foundation partner in the iconic Gorgon Project. The project is developing the Greater Gorgon gas fields, including the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields, located some 130 kilometres off the Western Australian coast. The Gorgon Project will ultimately encompass 11 gas fields containing an estimated total recoverable resource in excess of 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This represents around 25 percent of Australia’s known gas resources.
Gas production in Bass Strait
For 40 years, oil and gas from Bass Strait has provided a great deal of the energy that allows Australians to go about their day. Since the first well was drilled in Bass Strait, almost 4 billion barrels of crude oil and 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been produced.
Bass Strait has had a long history, but still has a very bright future. There is approximately 7 trillion cubic feet of gas remaining in the basin, which will see Bass Strait continue to supply vital energy to Australians for decades to come. In Bass Strait broadly, we continue to look for opportunities to find new developments as well as extend the life of existing oil and gas fields.
Natural gas prices
The natural gas price is made up of a number of components, including the wholesale price of natural gas, charges associated with distributing the gas and charges associated with retailing the gas to customers.
The wholesale price of natural gas charged by Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd to its customers also included an estimated direct and indirect carbon tax cost of $0.0942/GJ. As per the Carbon Tax Substantiation Statement to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, following the repeal of the of the carbon tax legislation these savings have been passed on to Esso’s customers in full with effect from 1 July 2014.