“OIL STRIKE. Outback find ‘big enough to fuel Australia‘. South Australia is sitting on oil potentially worth more than $20 trillion (US debt is only $16.2 trillion), independent reports claim – enough to turn Australia into a self sufficient fuel producer”.
More hyperbole follows: “At the higher end this would be ‘several times bigger than all the oil in Australia” – Linc M.D. Peter Bond.
One catch. The next stage will cost $150-300 million and will need a partner to develop the shale gas and oil deposits in the Arckaringa Basin that surrounds the opal mining town of Coober Pedy. It would also need massive spending on infrastructure.
It sounds like the answer to a maiden’s prayer for SA premier Jay Weatherill with BHP‘s Roxby Downs project on hold . The State debt will grow to $9.7 billion or 95% of annual income in 2015; with the government having to fund some ambitious but expensive infrastructure items such as the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, the desalination plant, and the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The big question is whether these reserves can be developed from vision to reality.
- Oil in five years from shale deposit (bigpondnews.com)
- Reality check after ‘$20 trillion’ oil find (theage.com.au)
- Australia could see shale oil boom following $20 trillion discovery (mining.com)
- Australia to rival Saudi Arabia in oil reserves? (rinf.com)