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The Asia-Pacific region is divided into nations of energy “haves” and “have-nots.” Japan and South Korea are highly industrialized nations with virtually no oil and gas resources. China and India have substantial energy resources, but without imports they will not be able to cope with the expected rise in energy demand due to population growth and rapid industrialization. Malaysia and Indonesia are the traditional energy “haves” in the region, but are suffering from production declines in their mature fields.
The emerging energy giant in the region is Australia. The country has estimated potential gas resources of 400 Tcf, a number that is expected to grow as exploration continues in frontier offshore conventional gas and onshore coal seam and shale gas plays. According to the Australia Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Australia’s annual gas production for domestic consumption grew during the 2000–2009 decade from 726 Bcf to 1,001 Bcf and annual LNG exports grew from 345 Bcf to 736 Bcf. The country currently ranks as the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter and is aiming to move up the ranks as mega-LNG projects such as Gorgon and Wheatstone begin production by 2015.
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