Wednesday, 28 November 2012 09:52
The record $268.4 billion committed to investment in local resource and energy projects is comparable to the cost of the Apollo space program, according to Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.
He was commenting after Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) data showed an additional $13.2 billion of projects had reached the committed stage in the six months to October.
The record total investment consists of 87 projects which have reached the final investment decision stage and include 51 minerals projects, 18 gas and petroleum projects and 18 infrastructure projects.
"Mega projects which cost more than $5 billion continue to be the principal driver of the record level of investment in the resources and energy sectors," BREE executive director and chief economist Professor Quentin Grafton said in a statement on Wednesday.
There are 11 mega projects accounting for $201 billion, or 76 per cent, of total committed investment,.
Most are LNG projects located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and Gladstone, Queensland.
Mr Ferguson said the report confirmed the resources industry had many years of impressive activity ahead it, and even though commodity prices have recently fallen there was still a solid pipeline of potential investment.
"To put Australia's investment in oil and gas in perspective, the total committed expenditure on these projects is comparable to the cost of the Apollo Moon program in today's prices," he said in a statement.
Even so, Mr Ferguson said the resources sector was entering a "challenging phase".
"In the face of lower commodity prices, the delivery of this pipeline of projects is contingent on keeping production costs down, providing access to skilled labour and increasing our productivity and efficiency," he said.
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