ACCC report shows importance of ongoing investment in gas

Tight global gas markets have reinforced the importance of continued investment in Australia’s gas resources.

The ACCC’s latest Gas Inquiry Interim Report found that domestic gas contract prices rose slightly between March and August 2021. However, Australia avoided the up-to-230% price increases seen overseas in the Asian LNG spot market.

Australia’s southern states are likely to be reliant on gas from the north to avoid a shortfall on certain days later this year. This is predominately due to a reduction in forecast production in the Gippsland and Cooper Basins. 

The ACCC considers that over the long term, development of basins such as the Beetaloo (NT), North Bowen (QLD), Galilee (QLD) and Gunnedah (Narrabri, NSW) would help to alleviate the shortfall. 

The ACCC also notes that government-led initiatives such as the Energy Ministers’ pipeline reforms, and the voluntary Code of Conduct will provide benefits for gas users. 

The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, said domestic gas contract prices remained internationally competitive at around $6.70–$9.60 a gigajoule.

‘Australia has been fortunate to escape the devastating price impacts seen in Europe due to their energy crisis. Accelerating the gas-fired recovery is essential to ensure this does not happen here,’ the Minister said. 

‘While the report notes some positive signs for infrastructure investment in expanding south-bound capacity, the government will continue to assist industry where needed through our Future Gas Infrastructure Investment Framework.’

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Ministers’ joint media release

ACCC Gas Inquiry 2017-2025