The discovery in central Australia , reported by Linc Energy to the stock exchange, was based on two consultants’ reports.
The reports estimated the company’s 16 million acres of land in the Arckaringa Basin in South Australia contain between 133 billion and 233 billion barrels of shale oil trapped in the region’s rocks.
The find was likened to the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale oil projects in the US, which have resulted in massive outflows and have led to predictions that the US could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer as soon as this year.
Peter Bond, Linc Energy’s chief executive, said the find could transform the world’s oil industry but noted that it would cost about $300 million to enable production in the area.
“If you took the 233 billion, well, you’re talking Saudi Arabia numbers,” Bond told ABC News.
That would be worth $20 trillion.
“If you stress test it right down and you only took the very sweetest spots in the absolute known areas and you do nothing else, it is about 3.5 billion [barrels] and that’s sort of worse-case scenario.”
That would be worth $359 billion (Rs1.95 lakh crore).
Australia is currently believed to have reserves of about 3.9 billion barrels of crude oil - about 0.2% of the world’s total - and produces about 180 million barrels a year.
The consultants reports, based on drilling and geological and seismic surveys, did not indicate how easily the oil can be tapped or profitably produced.