Territory Stories

Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99



Budget Paper No5 Northern Territory Economy 1998/99

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Tabled Paper 382


Tabled papers for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Reed


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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The ABS reports that for calender year 1997 exploration expenditure in the Northern Territory and ZOC-A waters totalled $216.4 million, a significant increase on 1995-96 and the estimated 1996-97 expenditures. Oil and gas companies are committed to drilling over 120 exploration wells in the Timor Sea, at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion, over the next five years. Competitive tendering for exploration permit areas and good prospectives should ensure that exploration activity in the Timor Sea remains high. There have been 15 discoveries since 1994. Onshore, Native Title uncertainty is having a marked effect on greenfield oil and gas exploration. Uranium exploration expenditure was $5.9 million in 1996-97, up from $4.6 million in 1995-96. Uranium exploration expenditure is reported under metallic and non-metall ic mineral exploration expenditure by the ABS. ENERGY OUTLOOK The value of energy production in the Territory is forecast at $337 million in 1997-98, compared with $339 million in 1996-97. Increased uranium oxide production flowing from the mill upgrade at Ranger last year has counterbalanced the decrease in oil production. The Skua oilfield ceased production in early 1997. Commercial reserves at the Challis oilfield are expected to be depleted within one year. The life of Jabiru oilfield may be extended by linking it to the nearby Tenacious oil discovery. ABARE reports that slower economic growth in Asia in 1998 will reduce the regional rates of growth in demand for energy and that Australian mineral energy exports can expect to face flat or easing US dollar denominated prices in 1998. The Jabiluka uranium project is the major onshore energy development likely to begin construction in 1998. In October 1997 final Commonwealth Government conditional approvals for the mining of the orebody, 22 43 Mining 0 200 400 600 800 1 000 1 200 1 400 1 600 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98e 1998-99f 1999-00f 2000-01f 2001-02f Gas Uranium Oil $ million Figure 8.4 ENERGY PRODUCTION Source: Department of Mines and Energy e: DME estimate f: DME forecast

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