East coast gas exporters have signed a formal agreement with the federal government to ensure Australia has sufficient gas supply for 2018 and 2019.
The agreement, to which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the government signatory, cements arrangements reached in talks last week following reports by the ACCC and AEMO that predict a shortfall of 110PJ for the east coast gas market.
“The commitment today that you’re making is to offer sufficient gas to meet the expected shortfall and any emerging shortfall through the good faith offering of gas to the domestic market on reasonable terms,” the PM told the heads of east coast gas exporters after the meeting.
“These commitments are vitally important to ensure Australian jobs and to ensure Australians have affordable and reliable energy and including electricity – gas being a more important fuel than ever in the generation of electricity.
“I want to thank you very much for those commitments and by ensuring that there will not be a shortfall of gas next year, that means we will not be required to place restrictions on exports.”
APPEA chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said the industry had volunteered to provide the ACCC with comprehensive information on their contract offers.
“Producers recognise that the east coast market, like other contract markets, lacks transparency,” Dr Roberts said.
“Providing the ACCC with detailed information in real-time about contract offers and agreements will bring unprecedented transparency into the wholesale market.”
Queensland CSG already accounts for almost half of the gas used on the east coast of Australia, Dr Roberts said.
“Developing similar resources in southern states, however, continues to be stalled because of unscientific bans and unnecessary restrictions,” he said.
“The Prime Minister and his government are to be congratulated for working with industry to produce a co-operative solution that delivers more gas and greater transparency.
“Victoria and New South Wales have been granted a reprieve from the consequences of their policy failures, courtesy of the Queensland gas industry. They should use this opportunity to support local gas projects.
“As the ACCC warned last week, gas customers in the southern states are already paying a 25 per cent premium for their gas due to the bans and restrictions imposed by their governments.”