Drilling Industry Information

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The areas of the drilling industry are as follows:

 Blast hole drilling  Raiseboring
 Environmental drilling  Coal seam gas drilling
 Foundation/construction drilling  Oil and gas drilling, offshore
 Geotechnical drilling  Oil and gas drilling, onshore
 Geothermal drilling  Well workover and well servicing
 Horizontal directional drilling  Seismic drilling
 Mineral exploration drilling  Trenchless technology
 Mineral production drilling  Waterwell drilling


The drilling industry contributes to the ability of other industry sectors to provide income to Australia. For example:  

Waterwell drilling provides groundwater access for domestic, industrial and agricultural use.

Groundwater in Australia is accessed by licensed drillers.

Waterwells support rural and regional communities, as well as cities: groundwater provides about 40% of Perth’s water through the mains.  For example, the Alice Springs water supply comes from the Roe Creek borefield in the Amadeus Basin, an enormous underground sedimentary rock formation extending south from Alice Springs towards the South Australian border and westward into Western Australia. The basin is 7 km deep in the middle, and covers about 150,000 km². (Source: Department of Land Resource Management, Northern Territory Government)

The worth of groundwater-dependent production within the Australian economy is $33.8 billion per year. (Source: Deloitte Access Economics: National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, report on the Economic Value of Groundwater in Australia, October 2013 ).

Energy provision relies on drilling.

Oil and gas drilling in Australia provides exploration for and access to oil and gas resources onshore and offshore.

Australia’s production of natural gas has more than doubled since 1998. This increase in production has met both domestic and international market needs.  The export value of oil, gas and LNG 2012 – 2013 was $30.8 billion.

Total taxation payments by the oil/gas industry have averaged around $8 billion per year over the last five years, with company taxes estimated to account for slightly more than half of the total amount.

(Source:  APPEA Key statistics 2014  http://www.appea.com.au/industry-in-depth/industry-statistics  See this site for more detail.)

Drilling also contributes to energy production through geothermal drilling, a growing sector.

Geotechnical and environmental drilling, and trenchless technology, support the construction and infrastructure construction industry, and blast hole drilling provides access to construction material.

Geotechnical drilling determines ground strength for buildings and for building major infrastructure projects like bridges and dams, and foundation and piling drilling create strong, stable base for building, wharves and other infrastructure development.

Environmental drilling contributes to rehabilitation of sites.  Trenchless drilling (HDD) lays services for the transmission of energy and communications.

The construction industry overall makes a significant contribution annually to the Australian economy. In 2011-12, the construction industry generated $305 billion in total income, the gross value add (GVA) to the Australian economy was $99.5 billion or 6.9 per cent.

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 8772.0 – Private Sector Construction Industry, Australia, 2011-12)

Mineral exploration drilling finds mineral resources, and mineral production drilling  accesses them. 

The minerals resources industry is a key pillar of the Australian economy. The minerals resources industry accounts for more than 6 percent of Australia’s economy and has invested more than $125 billion in Australia in the last 10 years.

The mining industry’s contribution to the Australian economy is now $121 billion a year. In terms of export income, it generates $138 billion per annum, which represents over half (54 per cent) of total goods and services. Across the nation mining employs 187,400 people directly, and a further 599,680 in support industries. In wages and salaries that amounts to $18 billion; an additional $21 billion is contributed through company tax and royalty payments. Not least, the industry spends $35.2 billion on new capital investment, $5.7 billion on exploration, and $4.2 billion on research and development.

(Source: Australian Mining (2014), an initiative of Minerals Council of Australia, the Chamber of Mines and Energy of Western Australia, New South Wales Minerals Council and Queensland Resources Council.)