18/11/2021 - 16:01

10,000 jobs from oil and gas boom

18/11/2021 - 16:01

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Economic activity in WA could be $35 billion higher in 2027, with 9,700 more jobs, if a series of oil and gas projects enter construction, EY has projected.

10,000 jobs from oil and gas boom
A Woodside floating production vessel. Photo: Woodside

Economic activity in Western Australia could be $35 billion higher in 2027, with 9,700 more jobs, if a series of oil and gas projects enter construction, EY has projected.

That level of activity is about 12 per cent of the size of the state’s economy, according to a report released today.

The $35 billion figure is based on a high-growth pathway, and would include committed projects and possible developments, such as Woodside Petroleum’s Browse LNG.

EY produced the report for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, with the numbers sourced using a computable general equilibrium model. 

The data is in nominal terms, and is not adjusted for inflation or for the discount rate.

In a lower-growth pathway, investment would peak in 2025, with economic growth to be $16 billion higher.

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has added $220 billion to the state’s economy, the report said, with $53 billion of taxes paid.

APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville said the industry would turbocharge the state’s economy in years ahead.

“The AFL Grand Final was a one-off economic bonus for Perth but this could be like holding the AFL Grand Final every day in WA for the next 20 years, that’s how much natural gas could mean to the state’s economy going forward,” he said.

Mr McConville said EY had found $90 billion more would be invested in WA’s oil and gas industry over 20 years if policy settings supported development of the industry.

High growth in oil and gas would add $440 billion to gross state product over the period, almost double the level under a low-growth scenario.

“The benefits of this investment are particularly pronounced in the short term as projects are constructed, with up to 9,700 full-time jobs created in 2027 under a high-growth scenario, and 8,300 jobs in 2040,” he said.

APPEA WA director Claire Wilkinson said it would also bring an environmental benefit as countries switch from coal to gas.

“The Australian government estimates Australian LNG exports have the potential to lower emissions in LNG-importing countries by about 166 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent (mt CO2-e) a year by replacing higher emissions fuels," she said.

"That equates to over a third of Australia’s total annual emissions.

“Natural gas has only half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal when used to generate electricity and it can do things renewables simply cannot do, such as provide the high temperatures and essential feedstock needed to produce manufactured products like fertilisers, cement, steel and plastics."

Ms Wilkinson said the industry had the skills and commercial experience to develop a world-scale hydrogen industry and improve carbon capture technology.

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