Petroleum exploration has seen sharp falls in expenditure on production leases, with Western Australia the worst hit on seasonally adjusted figures.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics the trend estimate fell 3.1 per cent or $33.4m for total petroleum exploration in the September quarter in 2014.
Production leases dropped 15.9 per cent or $53.4m, however that was countered by exploration in other areas which increased spending by 19.7m, a jump of 2.7 per cent.
However, on the seasonally adjusted figures the tables were turned with a massive loss of 40.2 per cent of spending on non-production lease exploration, or $496m.
The total loss was $516.9 per cent, with Western Australia responsible for 24.7 per cent down making up $199m of the loss.
Onshore exploration saw a seasonally adjusted loss of 33 per cent or $142m down to $289.1m for the September quarter, with drilling down $18.9m and other onshore exploration hardest hit by 48 per cent or $123.2m.
Offshore fared even worse with the total seasonally adjusted figure down 34.5 per cent or $374.8m, to $710.8m.
Drilling fell by 31.5 per cent or $268.2m and other petroleum exploration expenditure fell by 45.5 per cent or $106.5m.