Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Australia Positions Itself as an Energy Superpower

Source: FT

In a speech to business leaders, Australia’s prime minister, John Howard, spoke of the importance to the world that his country increases its role as a large supplier of energy. Australia has large natural resources of coal, uranium, and natural gas. Demand has increased due both to increased demand from users in China and India as well as to the latest rounds of turmoil in the Middle East, which has led to record prices for oil.

Howard was quoted as saying, “As an efficient, reliable supplier, Australia has a massive opportunity to increase its share of global energy trade. With the right policies, we have the makings of an energy superpower.”

Australia is currently one of a few net exporters of commodoties, accounting for 30% of the world’s coal trade, 40% of the world’s uranium reserves, and the potential to trail only Russia in exportation of natural gas by 2015. Also of note, many experts consider Australia particularly unexplored, especailly the gas fields off the northern and western coasts. Exploration here has become economically feasible due to technological advances and the increase in oil prices.

Recently a private energy company entered into a record, multi-billion dollar contract to supply China with natural gas. Other deals of this nature are in the works.

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