THE cost of Australian petroleum exploration and production projects rose 20 per cent in 2012, according to Wood Mackenzie's global upstream capital spending report.
It blamed the number of new projects, limited domestic construction capacity and workforce issues for the rapid cost inflation, but forecast there would be another $US50 billion invested in Australia in 2013 - well ahead of Russia, China and Canada.
Wood Mackenzie's Iain Brown said the pace of growth in global upstream capital spending appeared to be slowing, suggesting investment had peaked.
''We do not expect this to be the case … We expect that investment in 2013 will be between 5 per cent and 8 per cent higher than in 2012.''
Wood Mackenzie tallied a record $US550 billion in upstream development spending in 2012, up $US55 billion on 2011.
Meanwhile, Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman said Australia should focus on turning Perth into a global energy technology hub.
He said resources and agriculture would still make a big contribution to the Australian economy this century, but Australia's skills and ingenuity would allow the nation to succeed in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Coleman said Perth, where Woodside is based, could be a global leader in oil and gas technology. With AAP