Ministers meet with gas pipeline companies

Ministers from the Turnbull Government met with pipeline industry representatives last week to seek their support in implementing measures agreed with the gas industry earlier this month.

The meeting was chaired by Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and supported by Minister for Industry Arthur Sinodinos and Minister for Resources Matthew Canavan.

It was attended by the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA), Energy Networks Australia, Jemena, EPIC Energy, APA Group, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline and SEAgas Pipeline.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister called a crisis meeting with the Australian gas industry, after the Australian Energy Market Operator released the 2017 Gas Statement of Opportunities report, which revealed a projected decline in gas production could result in a shortfall of gas-powered electricity generation from as early as next year.

East coast gas companies agreed to work with government to ensure more gas is made available to the domestic market and guarantee that gas will be available for power generation at times of peak demand (such as during heat waves).

“The government welcomes the commitment from the pipeline industry to support the implementation of the peak electricity demand gas supply guarantee through a number of complementary measures that will ensure gas can be delivered to where it is needed, when it is needed,” a joint statement from Ministers Frydenberg, Canavan and Sinodinos said.

“The government also acknowledges the pipeline industry’s commitment to work to accelerate a range of gas market reforms that will improve transparency and liquidity in the market at a critical time.”

According to the statement, the industry agreed to support the gas supply guarantee by committing to provide pipeline access to ensure the gas arrives at its destination on time and at a reasonable price.

APGA will work with AEMO, AEMC, the Government’s Gas Taskforce and industry to ensure that necessary arrangements are in place in time for next summer,” the statement said.

The pipeline industry committed to continue working with the ACCC and Dr Mike Vertigan [Chair of the COAG Gas Market Reform Group] to provide increased transparency through the entire gas supply chain, including in Australia’s gas pipeline network.”

It was also agreed at the meeting that the industry would work with the Australian Government to speed up gas market reforms arising from the recent ACCC and AEMC gas market reports, and subsequently agreed by the COAG Energy Council.

 

Attendees also stressed the fundamental need for state and territory governments to revisit restrictions on gas exploration and development.