The annual Fraser Institute Petroleum Survey ranks 97 global energy jurisdictions by perceived petroleum industry investment attractiveness and policy perception, and has shown an oil and gas industry divided in its view of Australia.

South Australia was ranked as one of the top 10 attractive investment regions for the petroleum industry globally.

An industry head said South Australia’s Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) scheme to explore and develop the state’s gas resources was a world leader.

“South Australia successfully ensures that government is accessible and willing to respond to issues in a practical manner,” the source said.

Western Australia was ranked 37th globally, followed by Australia’s offshore operations at 38 out of 97.

South Australia also made the top five small-reserve-holder jurisdictions, rated third behind Kansas in the US and Saskatchewan in Canada, and ahead of Canadian province Manitoba, and New Zealand.

Western Australia narrowly made it into the top 20 for small-reserve-holder jurisdictions, just ahead of Suriname.

Australia’s offshore operations were also perceived favourably, ranking within the world’s top 20 jurisdictions for medium-reserve holders.

NSW, ranked 85th globally, has seen improved industry perception on taxes, labour regulations, and employment agreements, but still ranked within the lower section of the survey.

Ongoing fracking moratoriums in Victoria, the Northern Territory, and NSW saw them ranked as some of the least attractive small-reserve-holder regions, coming in at 87th, 86th, and 85th respectively. Queensland ranked 60th out of 97.

This overall negative ranking saw Australia fall from the third-best wider region in which to invest down to fourth year on year, behind the US, Europe, and Canada.

The Australian Petroleum Producers and Exploration Association said the survey highlighted difficult state regimes for oil and gas companies looking to operate in these regions.

“Regulatory cost, duplication and policy uncertainty across most Australian jurisdictions are a strong deterrent to investors risking capital on new projects,” APPEA chief executive Malcolm Roberts said.

The APPEA said Victoria and the NT – jurisdictions that have banned or restricted onshore gas development – “have the dubious distinction of joining Venezuela, Libya and Iraq in the 15 least-attractive investment destinations in the world”.

“The results show that even if NSW, the NT and Victoria lift their restrictions on gas extraction they will have work to do to regain investors’ trust,” Dr Roberts said.

The APPEA said Queensland’s second successive year of declining rank could be reversed by government support.

“All governments can buck these alarming trends by providing strong leadership and sensible regulatory oversight to create jobs, boost the economy and secure energy supply,” Dr Roberts said.

Australia’s offshore petroleum industry announced a massive regulatory change this week, with new rules introduced to increase transparency and public scrutiny.

These framework changes include greater public consultation for new offshore exploration; creating a “register of interests” for stakeholders open to being consulted on operations in their area; the publishing of environmental plans for public consideration before exploration or activities are carried out and holding community information sessions in areas where petroleum activities may be held.

Australia was previously one of the few countries in the OECD that did not have a public consultation period for offshore oil and gas.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.