Australian gas 40% cheaper in Japan

Australian consumers paid up to 65 per cent more in July than their Japanese counterparts for gas produced in Australia, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has said.

IEEFA analysis revealed gas produced in Australia was sold in Adelaide at an average of $13.90 a gigajoule, compared to $8.42 in Japan. Sydney residents paid $9.62, while Brisbane residents paid up to $10.12.

On average, Australian consumers faced 33 per cent higher prices in July than those in Japan.

IEEFA analyst Bruce Robertson Robertson said he was concerned that, without more information, the wrong decisions would be made at the COAG Energy Council meeting on Friday.

“They’ve set the agenda for more gas production and that ain’t the solution,” he said.

Mr Robertson was critical of the ACCC’s report for recommending more gas supply be opened up, since that report itself pointed out there was a lack of information about current levels of supply.

“Bearing in mind the high costs of transport and liquefaction, it makes no sense that Australian gas should be cheaper in Japan – one of the highest cost markets in the world,” he said.

“A broken regulatory system is allowing gas producers to maintain a cartel-like grip on pricing, which they are exploiting to the full, with a particularly acute impact on Australian manufacturers.”