ACCC report underlines importance of gas-fired recovery

Joint media release with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Resources and Water Minister Keith Pitt.

The latest report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Gas Inquiry underlines the importance of the Morrison Government’s gas-fired recovery and support for further development of the nation’s gas resources.

In its latest interim report for mid-2021, the ACCC found there is sufficient supply in the market for 2022.

The ACCC also reaffirmed its view that more gas needs to be brought to market to avoid any potential future shortfalls, in line with the Government’s gas-fired recovery and the findings from the recent Interim National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP).

The report notes the importance of getting more gas into the southern states, the key role of storage in the market and the potential ongoing need for LNG producers to supply gas to the domestic market.

Prices for supply in 2022 trended downwards in the first half of 2020 and, since mid-2020, most offers have been in the range of $6-8 per gigajoule (GJ).

The ACCC will continue to monitor LNG producers’ compliance with the Heads of Agreement to ensure the 101 petajoules (PJ) of uncontracted gas in Queensland is made available to Australian gas users.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government will continue to ensure domestic gas users receive the best deals and that prices remain affordable.

“The latest ACCC report, along with more recent gas market activity, demonstrates the importance of the gas-fired recovery to ensure the best outcomes for Australian households and businesses,” the Treasurer said.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government is already taking action to ensure Australian gas is working for all Australians.

“Gas supports jobs in crucial energy-intensive industries that support jobs and economic activity across the economy and regional Australia,” Minister Taylor said.

“The Government has committed $38.7 million through our interim NGIP for targeted support for critical gas infrastructure projects, including storage. These measures will help increase supply in the south and demonstrates our commitment to delivering key infrastructure to overcome future gas shortfalls.

“This work also builds on the package of reforms to natural gas pipeline regulation agreed to by Energy Ministers. These reforms will reduce costs of transportation and delivered gas, improve access to pipelines, facilitate more effective competition in the gas market and have net benefits valued in excess of $1 billion.”

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said the Government was working to unlock development in key onshore gas basins, notably the Beetaloo, the North Bowen and Galilee, and Cooper-Adavale Basins, which will increase future supply and help keep prices as low as possible.

“Under the latest Heads of Agreement, the three east coast LNG exporters have committed to offer uncontracted gas to domestic customers first, with reasonable notice and at competitive market terms. We expect the LNG producers to keep their commitments in good faith,” Minister Pitt said.

“The Government will continue to monitor developments in the gas market to make sure Australians continue to have access to affordable and reliable energy supplies. We continue to call on all states to ensure gas resources can be developed as we know increasing local gas supply is the best way to drive down prices.” 
Media contact: Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120.