Managing uncertainty unconventional gas development WEBBShale gas exploration and development has had a significant impact on the US economy. The cost of natural gas has significantly decreased and the industry has created 1.3 million jobs. The US is now expected to be energy independent by 2035 – and in doing so, changing the international political landscape.

So what about Australia?

Australia is predicted to have the 7th largest reserves of unconventional gas in the world; however despite this, the industry is still in the early stages of development - but the energy debate is heating up.

Typically in Australia, unconventional gas development has been uneconomic and regular supplies of conventional gas have kept it that way. But the market is changing – much in thanks to Australia’s growing LNG production capacity.

The industry also faces contrasting regulatory environments per state. In Queensland for example, over 70% of gas is supplied by coal seam gas. In NSW, an energy crisis is looming as prices are expected to double if the state doesn’t address their supply issues (currently 95% of gas is imported from other states).

Coffey recently hosted an industry briefing exploring the future of unconventional gas development in Australia. Joining us was international academic, Dr Ian Duncan, and our Coffey specialists Barton Napier, Michael Blackam and Ross Best.

Our discussion centred on the key factors influencing development, the risks and how to deal with market and regulatory uncertainty. We explored this topic from an environmental management and social stakeholder engagement perspective. We also focused on minimising the risk of fraccing on water resources.

To capture insights from this discussion, we’ve developed a Q&A video (10 minutes) – click here to view.