The Australian government has injected $125 million (Aus.) into the Exploring for The Future (EFTF) program which is managed by the country’s minerals and petroleum resources agency, Geoscience Australia.
The program provides geoscientific data on the potential for discovering oil and gas deposits in Australia’s frontier basins, such as the Beetaloo and the McArthur basins in the Northern Territory.
The aim is to encourage exploration in lesser known and untried regions. All the data gathered is freely available to the petroleum industry.
The new investment adds to an earlier grant of $100 million (Aus.) and is designed to boost the Australian economy struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and a domestic recession.
The Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said the EFTF program will aid the next round of investment and job creation in the resources sector.
Phase 1 of the program began in Northern Australia 2016 and is due to conclude at the end of June. Pitt said the additional funding will extend the program for another 4 years and take a national approach.
The industry body Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) welcomed the new funding.
APPEA Chief Executive Andrew McConville said the challenging conditions facing the industry, both globally and in Australia, mean it is more important than ever to ensure the policy and regulatory framework facing the oil and gas industry in Australia remains competitive and encourages further exploration and development activity.