IBISWorld report forecasts coal seam gas boom, petroleum exploration doom in 2015  

Image credit:freedigitalphotos user: renjith krishnan

2015 will be a boom year for a wide array of industries, with coal seam gas extraction spearheading the queue of segments to expand in the coming year, followed by online grocery sales, fast fashion, private equity and hydroponic crop farming.

Image credit:freedigitalphotos user: renjith krishnan
Image credit:freedigitalphotos user: renjith krishnan

The report – which was composed by business information analysts at IBISWorld – also forecasts the downturn of several other industries in 2015, with petroleum exploration tipped to be the biggest loser in 2015, closely followed by construction machinery manufacturing, cigarette manufacturing, motion picture and video distribution and electricity distribution.

The expansion of the coal seam gas sector will be driven by the opening of several new liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plants in 2015, including the start of production for one of the Curtis Island LNG plants in December 2014.

The report’s projected number of 148% growth in coal seam gas extraction revenue will also be supported with the opening of several other plants near Gladstone in Queensland, bringing the total revenue for the sector in the coming year to approximately $1.83 billion.

On the flipside, the report predicts the petroleum exploration spending in Australia to fall nearly 19% to $3.76 billion as a direct consequence of the 50% slide in oil prices in recent times caused by the global oversupply of the commodity.

“High oil prices have acted as an incentive for global companies to invest in petroleum exploration over the past five years,” said IBISWorld senior industry analyst David Whytcross.

“However, the subsequent oversupply is going to hamper exploration in 2015, as Australian firms are unable to compete with the low production costs and high production volumes from the world’s major oil producers.”

The report forecasts rapid expansion in online grocery sales and in the so-called fast fashion segment, which will rise by 14.6% to $2.19 billion and by 10.4% to $1.35 billion, respectively.

According to the report, other sectors to decline the most this year will be cigarette production, electricity distribution, film distribution and mining and construction machine manufacturing, which is forecasted to shrink by 6.1%.

“As the mining boom moves from its investment phase to a production phase, and as falling iron ore prices deter further investment, demand for machinery is likely to suffer in 2015,” said Mr Whytcross.