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Oil and Gas Taxation in Australia

Australian Oil and Gas Companies are subject to income tax with the imposed rate of 30%. Non-residents companies are also subject to the same income tax rate, unless they have a special offer or under a treaty.

There are many ways of lodging a online tax return. The tax return online can be lodged through the specialist accounting services, however the complexity of the oil and gas activities require a more thorough approach with usually an entire accounting departments taking care about company accounting and taxation matters.

Taxable income consists of ordinary, statutory and capital gains minus allowable deduction incurred while deriving assessable taxable income.

The biggest expense item in oil and gas companies are the exploration costs.  They are deductible in the year they have been incurred while mining for petroleum, its exploration or prospecting.

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The Promising Gas

Not only a significant part of the world’s coal resources, but also their satellite, methane, whose scale is commensurate with the gas resources of traditional world deposits, is concentrated in the depths of the developed and prospective coal basins. The concentration of methane in a mixture of natural gas from coal seams is 80–98%.

The scientifically based assessment of the role of coal seams as the largest places of methane accumulation in the earth’s crust opens up new promising prospects for increasing hydrocarbon gas resources. Methane, which is the most dangerous companion of coal, becomes a valuable mineral, subject to independent commercial production or associated extraction in mines with complex step-by-step exploitation of gas-bearing coal deposits.

There are two fundamentally different ways to extract coal methane: mine (in the fields of existing mines) and borehole.

The mine method is an integral part of the underground coal mining technology – degassing. At the same time, the volume of methane produced is small, and gas is used mainly for the own needs of coal mining companies directly in the coal mining area.

Well production method is industrial. At the same time, methane is no longer viewed as a by-product in coal mining, but as an independent mineral. The development of methane-coal deposits with the extraction of methane on an industrial scale is carried out using special technologies for the intensification of gas recovery (the most common options are hydraulic fracturing, injection of air or air-air mixture through the well, and impact on the formation with current).

It should be noted that not all coals are suitable for the extraction of methane. So, deposits of long-flame brown coal are poor in methane. The high concentration of gas is characterized by anthracite coal, but it cannot be extracted due to its high density and extremely low reservoir permeability. The most promising for the extraction of methane are coal, which occupies an intermediate position between brown coal and anthracite.

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International coal mining experience

The need, opportunity and economic feasibility of large-scale commercial production of methane from coal seams is confirmed by the experience of developing methyl-coal fields in the United States, which occupy a leading position in the world in terms of the development of the “new gas industry.” Also, industrial production of methane from coal seams is conducted in Australia, Canada and China.

Favorable geological features and gas-bearing conditions of coal basins are an objective prerequisite for organising large-scale methane production as an independent mineral.

The need for the organisation of methanol-coal fields is due to the following factors: the presence of large-scale methane deposits in the coal basins in Australia; the presence of modern advanced efficient technologies for commercial production of methane from coal seams, widely used in recent years abroad; the presence in Australia of scientific and technical potential capable of coordinating and carrying out scientific research on this topic.

Among the regions in Australia that are not adequately supplied with gas fuel, a number of coal-mining regions could fully cover their gas needs through large-scale methane production from coal seams. In addition, the extraction and use of gas will improve the environmental situation in the coal-mining areas, reduce the gas hazard of coal mining in future mines and create new jobs in gas fields and gas processing plants.