Man walking in stair well next to large white oil barrells.

CSIRO's research is securing Australia's energy future.

Petroleum and geothermal research

CSIRO's petroleum and geothermal research supports a smooth transition to Australia's clean and secure energy future.

  • 5 November 2010 | Updated 10 May 2013


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CSIRO's petroleum and geothermal research is focused in three main areas:

  • supporting gas as a transition fuel for a clean energy future
  • demonstrating geothermal as a feasible alternative energy source in Australia
  • reducing exploration risks and enhancing oil and gas recovery.

CSIRO has a long history of research into petroleum systems and technologies used by the oil and gas industry.

Petroleum and geothermal research goals. Text reads: Australia and the region - clean energy; energy security; wealth creation.

CSIRO's petroleum and energy research is aiding Australia's transition into a clean energy future.

With oil and gas a significant primary source of energy, now and into the future, we are using this understanding of petroleum systems to:
  • improve the productivity of existing oilfields
  • increase recovery rates of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs.

CSIRO also wants to ensure the economic production of Australia's major offshore gas resources, resulting in the development of technologies to enable:

  • uninterrupted flow of oil and gas in subsea pipelines
  • access to previously inaccessible natural gas.

Our broad expertise in the petroleum and mining sectors is also being used to adapt existing technologies to suit geothermal systems.

Geothermal energy has the potential to provide Australia with a low-emissions renewable energy resource.

Our goal is to conduct research and development that will accelerate deployment of commercial scale geothermal energy in Australia.

Geothermal energy has the potential to provide Australia with a low-emissions renewable energy resource. Exploiting this new resource will lead Australia to a low carbon energy future.

To enable this transition to a low emissions world, CSIRO is investigating the feasibility of alternatives to traditional fuel types, such as petrol or diesel. We are looking at developing technologies to more cost effectively develop cleaner fuels and chemical processes using Australia's abundant natural gas resources.


CSIRO's research and development efforts in these areas contribute to the nation's priorities of:

  • securing access to cost competitive petroleum resources
  • accelerating large-scale cuts to emissions
  • supporting a smooth transition to a new energy future.

As part of CSIRO's energy research, work into petroleum and geothermal systems will help Australia meet its current and future energy demands.

Read more about CSIRO's Energy research.