This is Big. At its very least, they’re talking of 3.5 billion barrels of oil, which is a Very Nice Discovery, thank you. At its largest, they are saying 233 billion barrels — Saudi Arabia, here we come.
Near Coober Pedy, Linc Energy has confirmed the Arckaringa Basin has lots of shale oil, so much that it could possibly shift us back to being an oil exporter. (We were self sufficient until 2000, but our oil production has been declining since then.)
Any discovery that comes with discussions about “national energy security” is one worth paying attention to. The news stories are just hitting the net now. Linc Energy has rights over more than 65,000 square kilometres of land in the Arckaringa Basin.
Note that there are virtually no farms and very few people living in the area. The blue splotch around Coober Pedy on the map below is not a lake.
Adelaide Now was one of the first.
SOUTH Australia is sitting on oil potentially worth more than $20 trillion, independent reports claim – enough to turn Australia into a self-sufficient fuel producer.
Brisbane company Linc Energy yesterday released two reports, based on drilling and seismic exploration, estimating the amount of oil in the as yet untapped Arckaringa Basin surrounding Coober Pedy ranging from 3.5 billion to 233 billion barrels of oil.
At the higher end, this would be “several times bigger than all of the oil in Australia”, Linc managing director Peter Bond said.
This has the potential to turn Australia from an oil importer to an oil exporter.
Chief executive Peter Bond says even if the amount of retrievable oil is well below that, the discovery is still “bigger than the Cooper Basin and Bass Strait combined”.
“If you stress test it right down and you only took the very sweetest spots in the absolute known areas and you do nothing else, it’s about 3.5 billion [barrels] and that’s sort of worse-case scenario,” he said.
“So if you took the 233 billion, well, you’re talking Saudi Arabia numbers. It’s massive, it’s just huge.
‘Remote and deep’
Shale oil is more costly to extract and more controversial than conventional crude and involves fracking, in which water is pumped in to break up the shale.
South Australian Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis says it is much too early to say if the reserve can be profitably tapped.
“What they think they’ve found, or they have found, but whether it’s economic to recover or not is still the question, is vast reserves of shale oil,” he said.
“It’s basically oil which is trapped in low-permeability, clay-rich rocks so it’s within the rocks and you fracture-stimulate those rocks to release the oil.
Shale oil has transformed the energy market in the US. Is this the start of the Australian run?
Will it match the $20 Trillion potential?