National projects Australia’s Future Energy Resources

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This national project is evaluating the potential for new energy commodities hosted within sedimentary basins, including oil, natural gas and hydrogen, to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.

The current status of knowledge of petroleum geology and exploration history in several underexplored and frontier basins will be captured to expand the national basin inventory.

The project aims to unlock the potential of underexplored sedimentary basins in central Australia (e.g. Pedirka, Simpson, Warburton, western Eromanga). In many of these basins exploration drilling failed to make commercial discoveries but did confirm the presence of active petroleum systems. Examining why past exploration failed will shed new light on these basins and potentially identify new exploration opportunities.

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Area of focus for continental-scale projects

The project investigates the feasibility of enhanced oil recovery using carbon dioxide to boost Australia’s petroleum resource potential while economically storing greenhouse gases.

To stimulate the hydrogen industry, new geological storage sites are being mapped for hydrogen fuel storage, including salt accumulations. The utility of geothermal resources in deep-seated aquifers is being assessed for hydrogen production. Importantly, the economics of blue, green, and natural sources of hydrogen are being assessed to inform investment and government policy.

What we are doing

The project incorporates a number of study areas and activities, including:


The Australia’s Future Energy Resources project will produce a set of comprehensive geoscientific reports, providing new information and integrated datasets that will address exploration uncertainties supporting industry stakeholders in their investment decisions. These products will assist government with the formulation of future energy strategies, including Australia’s path to a low carbon economy. 

Publications, interpretations and new data collected during the course of the project will be made publicly available at regular intervals through the Exploring for the Future website and Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal

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Geoscience Knowledge Sharing

Important community information

All data produced by Geoscience Australia, including the data from this project, will be made publicly available. We will work with communities to return the data in a useful format, through the Geoscience Knowledge Sharing project.

Acquisition activities are not being undertaken on behalf of any exploration companies. All Geoscience Australia staff and contractors will comply with Geoscience Australia’s COVID-19 protocols, available upon request.


Current program

The current Exploring for the Future program (2020–24) focuses on 8 interrelated projects, united in growing our understanding of Australia's geology.

Three deep-dive projects in potentially resource-rich corridors identified in the east and west of Australia: Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian, Officer–Musgrave and Barkly–Isa–Georgetown projects. 

Three national projects with a focus on southern Australia: Australia’s Resources Framework, National Groundwater Systems and Australia’s Future Energy Resources projects.

Program support
Two program support projects: Enhanced Data Delivery and Geoscience Knowledge Sharing projects.