Unconventional Gas and resources

Garnett, Prof. Andrew1

1Centre for Natural Gas, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Primary energy demand is set to grow significantly over the next few decades. There is an increasing realisation that natural gas has several critical, complex and, to some extent, counter-intuitive roles in pursuing a “less than 2 deg C” scenario. With reference to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, natural gas will need to remain abundant and affordable and socially and environmentally acceptable in order to fulfil these roles. However, the proportion of gas that is traded as LNG looks set to grow, at least for a while, and importantly, the proportion of gas that comes from unconventional sources is also forecast to grow. This has significant implications, for example, for the confidence needed in sub-surface prediction of resources and their flow behaviour, as well as for the technologies and technical costs by which they are developed. The challenges of the future are harder than those of the past. There will be significant, new trials which only geoscientists and petroleum engineers can resolve. This presentation will highlight the main technical challenge areas and the contribution that earth science professionals will have to make within the complex and wicked energy trilemma.


Andrew leads the Centre for Natural Gas at The University of Queensland, which provides leading technical and social science research for the sector. Andrew has over 25 years international experience  in conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration, appraisal and development projects, and carbon, capture and storage.

About the GSA

The Geological Society of Australia was established as a non-profit organisation in 1952 to promote, advance and support Earth sciences in Australia.

As a broadly based professional society that aims to represent all Earth Science disciplines, the GSA attracts a wide diversity of members working in a similarly broad range of industries.