Geoscience Australia releases inaugural Australian Energy Commodity Resources assessment

16 June 2021

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt today launched the inaugural Australia’s Energy Commodity Resources (AECR) 2021 publication, a national stocktake of our natural gas, coal, and uranium resources.

Geoscience Australia’s snapshot of the nation's energy resources reaffirmed Australia’s abundance of world class energy resources and role as a globally significant energy commodity producer - with Australia's energy export earnings contributing over $130 billion to our economy and around 85 per cent of our produced energy commodities exported.

AECR assesses Australia’s energy commodity reserves and resources, and highlights our nation’s ample and available geological energy resource base - including 963 million barrels of oil, 241 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 410 846 million tonnes of coal and 1.2 million tonnes of uranium.

AECR 2021 Highlights:

  • Around 85 per cent of our produced energy commodities were exported;
  • Australia has the number one identified economic energy resources and was the third largest producer of uranium.
  • Australia has the second highest identified economic energy resources of brown coal and forth highest of black coal.
  • We were the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal and second largest exporter of thermal coal.

World energy exports by country in 2018

Country Energy exports (PJ) World share (%)Rank Major energy exports
Russian Federation 30,480 12.3 1 Largest natural gas exporter (pipeline & LNG) and one of major exporters of oil and coal
United States 21,086 8.5 2 Major exporter of oil and natural gas
Saudi Arabia 20,620 8.3 3 Largest oil and NGL exporter
Australia 13,930 5.6 4 Largest exporter of coal, second largest exporter of LNG1, major exporter of uranium
Canada 13,063 5.3 5 One of the major exporters of oil and natural gas
Indonesia 11,534 4.7 6 Second largest coal exporter, and one of the major exporters of natural gas

Notes: 1Australia subsequently became the largest LNG exporter in 2019. Source: International Energy Agency (2020) World Energy Balances: Overview.

As Australia looks to the future, AECR also provides an overview of how our geology may support hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage technology in the future.

Updated annually, this in-depth look at Australia’s recoverable energy resources will provide essential data to ensure the nation remains at the forefront of reliable energy exploration, production, supply and trade for generations to come.

Further information