Study shows gas market suffers from regulatory restrictions


The Australian Government has released its latest review of the gas market which shows that it possesses the capacity to supply natural gas to both domestic and foreign markets.

Image credit: flickr User: BG Group
Image credit: flickr User: BG Group

The Domestic Gas Market Study also points out that this capacity to deliver depends on the industry’s ability to explore and develop Australia’s vast gas resources. It also found that it is the numerous regulatory restrictions in some jurisdictions (NSW and Victoria) that are impending gas supply.

In the media release issued by APPEA, Chief Executive David Byers welcomed the study’s emphasis on existing supply impediments in NSW and Victoria and said the association was looking forward to working with SCER in developing more science-based and efficient regime to be implemented in those jurisdictions.

“The study follows a long line of previous reviews and reports, including the comprehensive Australian Government 2012 Energy White Paper (itself five years in gestation), that show Australia has more than enough gas to supply both domestic and export markets for decades to come,” said Mr Byers.

“It highlights the duplicative and multiple layers of red and green tape that projects must navigate to unlock the economic benefits from our nation’s resources.”

Mr Byers also said the study proved there was no need for interventions such as protectionist domestic gas reservation policies, unnecessary national interest tests or similar policies.

“In relation to the recommendation for an industry-led initiative to provide more ‘information’ to the market, APPEA notes the gas market already has abundant information available to it.  The range of gas supply agreements that have been struck over the last 12 months suggests that there is enough information available to allow supply contracts to be concluded between willing buyers and sellers.”

“Nevertheless, APPEA will carefully consider this recommendation and look forward to further discussion with the government on how this might work in practice,” Mr Byers said.

He called on all parties to recognise the benefits associated with removing impediments to further gas supply, rejecting unnecessary interventions and acknowledging the need for an efficient regulatory regime in all Australian jurisdictions.

“A freely operating and competitive market is the best way to allow gas resources to be developed for the benefit of the owners of that resource – the Australian people. The industry will carefully examine all of the recommendations contained in the study, and will seek to engage with the new government on the development of its East Coast Gas Strategy to 2020 and new Energy White Paper.”