Quarterly Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show strong growth prospects for Australia’s oil and gas sector.

The latest data reports total petroleum exploration expenditure as having rose 13.6% ($42.0m) to $349.9m in the December quarter 2018.

“Strong growth in exploration demonstrates the high confidence investors have in the future of Australia’s oil and gas sector,” said AMMA Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Tom Reid said.

“This is overwhelmingly positive for the broader community, given the resources and energy industry is a source of high-skilled, high-paying jobs and generates significant taxes and royalties to national revenues.

“In addition to exploration data, official job figures show a steady rise in employment in recent years.”

Notable recent industry achievements include INPEX commencing production at its Ichthys LNG Project in October last year and, just last week,  Arrow Energy gaining approval of its $10 billion Surat Gas Project.

“These significant investments in the oil and gas sector create thousands of direct and indirect jobs and help develop regional towns and infrastructure,” Mr Reid said.

“Australian resources exports set a new record of $248 billion in 2018, with natural gas a particularly strong performer.

“With the right policy settings, the development of Australia’s national resources can continue to drive new oil and gas discoveries, which will continue contributing towards today’s high standard of living, employment and building regional communities.”