Today’s release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2019 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) and the 2019 Victorian Gas Planning Report adds further weight to calls for southern states to develop their own gas supplies.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the GSOO report showed gas supplies would be adequate until 2023, but extra production from southern states would be critical for those jurisdictions to meet the demand of their own domestic and industrial users.
“More gas from more gas suppliers is the best way to increase competition and lower gas prices in the longer term,” Minister Canavan said.
“The GSOO shows east coast gas supplies are sufficient to meet the needs of Australian homes and businesses over the short to medium term, but the longterm supply of affordable and reliable gas will rely on teamwork by all states and territories.
“AEMO’s forecast suggests that in a few years, southern production may decline sharply which will increase the dependence of gas users in Victoria and New South Wales on interstate supplies, particularly during the peak winter season.
“As a Government, we are working hard to create an environment where consumers have an affordable, reliable supply of gas.
“Unfortunately, states with self-imposed moratoria on exploration and development are effectively locking themselves into a future of importing gas supplies from other sources, which means added transport costs and dependence on pipeline capacity.”
Minister for Energy Angus Taylor said the reports showed gas powered generation would be increasingly important in balancing the National Electricity Market as more intermittent renewable energy sources entered the market.
“This underlines the importance of having fully integrated planning across the energy sector to ensure we have a reliable, secure and efficient supply of both gas and electricity,” Minister Taylor said.
“The Government is doing its part by encouraging the development of new domestic gas supplies through the ADGSM and Heads of Agreement – actions supported by the ACCC in the interest of keeping prices at affordable levels for all users.
“AEMO’s report also reinforces the importance of the work of the COAG Energy Council to ensure pipeline regulatory settings are right and there is transparency in the market.
“The Government strongly urges all state and territory governments to remove blanket bans on conventional and unconventional gas exploration. This will help gas customers secure a better deal and reduce the cost of transporting gas while supporting much-needed investment.”