Petroleum Resources

Last updated:27 June 2014


Oil encompasses a range of liquid hydrocarbons and includes crude oil and condensate. Australia has about 0.3 per cent of the world oil reserves.


Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. Australia has significant and growing gas resources, with gas being Australia's third largest energy resource.

Coal Seam Gas

Coal Seam Gas is a naturally occurring methane gas found in most coal seams and is similar to conventional natural gas.

Unconventional Petroleum Resources

Unconventional resources are natural resources which require greater than industry-standard levels of technology or investment to exploit. Examples of unconventional oil resources include oil shales, oil sands, extra-heavy oil, gas-to-liquids and coal-to-liquids.

Oil Shale

Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock containing large amounts of organic matter (kerogen), which can yield substantial quantities of hydrocarbons. The majority of Australian shale oil resources of commercial interest are located in Queensland.

Offshore Acreage Release

Encouraging petroleum exploration is a high priority for the Australian Government. The annual release of offshore petroleum exploration acreage is a key part of the Australian Government's strategy to further petroleum exploration in Australia's offshore waters.