CSIRO's research is focused on the following:

Petroleum systems

CSIRO's petroleum exploration research spans from source rock characterisation through petroleum systems modelling, traps and reservoir characterisation, to faults and marine geology. This range of expertise and capabilities can be used to augment current industrial techniques and approaches to reduce exploration, development and production risks.

Enhanced oil recovery

CSIRO researchers are investigating several techniques that may substantially increase the amount of oil that can be recovered from a reservoir.

Offshore oil and gas

Working with industry, government and academia to deliver focused research and technology for the safe, efficient and sustainable use of Australia's marine wealth.

Unconventional gas

CSIRO researchers are helping better understand the opportunities and risks of unconventional gas as a new energy source.

There are few resources with the same impact on the world economy as oil and gas. Petroleum products have widespread and important uses – from transport and power generation to consumer goods. As such, Australia’s economic wealth and growth relies heavily on our petroleum endowment.

In terms of costs and benefits, petroleum is superior to other energy sources and is likely to remain a significant primary source of energy well into the future. It is therefore imperative to maximise the precious crude oil resources we have and recover the massive supplies of remote and unconventional gas located off North West Australia and along our Eastern seaboard.

New technologies are making it possible to meet the challenges faced in reaching and recovering oil and gas further offshore and from reservoirs that were previously inaccessible because they were uneconomical or too difficult to produce.