Josh Frydenberg's appointment as Australia's new Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been welcomed by a key local industry organization Sunday.
“APPEA looks forward to working with the Turnbull Ministry, in particular the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison, and the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg,” The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts said in a press release.
Prior to his latest appointment, Frydenberg was an Assistant Treasurer after being assigned the post by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in December 2014. Earlier in September 2013, he was appointed by Abbot as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, with specific responsibility for implementing the Coalition’s deregulation agenda.
“With Australia poised to become the world’s leading LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporter, we have a tremendous opportunity to convert our natural gas resources into long-term prosperity. Gas is an essential energy source and feedstock for local manufacturing. The industry has invested $143.3 billion (AUD 200 billion) to create this opportunity. The challenge for industry and governments now is to ensure that Australia stays competitive in the increasingly tough global market," APPEA said.
Australia's attractiveness as oil and gas investment destination, already weighed down by a more than 50 percent decline in global oil prices from a year ago, has come under further pressure due to high development costs, existing workplace relations systems and excessive bureacracy, prompting APPEA to say that "reforms to lift productivity and cut regulatory costs are essential."
While six LNG projects -- the GLNG, APLNG, Gorgon, Wheatstone, Prelude and Ichthys -- are expected to come on stream over the next two years, there is a possibility that new investments in Australian LNG projects, including the Browse floating LNG (FLNG) project offshore Western Australia and the Sunrise Project in the Timor Sea – both operated by Woodside Petroleum Ltd. – and the Exxon Mobil Corp.-operated Scarborough development off Western Australia, could be delayed if the industry environment remains unattractive.
Frydenberg has indicated in a media release Sunday that he Iooked forward to "working hard to ensure our nation has a productive and innovative resources and energy sector."
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