Northern Territory has opportunity to supply east coast gas market

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims this week spoke at the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference in Darwin saying findings from the recent East Coast Gas Inquiry revealed the Northern Territory had great potential to deliver gas to the east coast market.

“It seems to me that the Northern Territory could play a significant role in meeting demand in the east coast (market). As we know, there is significant gas in the NT that doesn’t require fracking,” Mr Sims said.

Citing the example of Central Petroleum’s statement that there is 300 PJs of available gas that does not need additional fracking, Mr Sims said the ACCC wouldn’t weigh into the environmental issues, rather leave that to policymakers to consider on a case-by-case basis.

“This is particularly pertinent to the Northern Territory given the prospective gas projects are likely to be spread across the vast landscape and potentially represent different levels of risk.”

The East Coast Gas Inquiry findings were released in April and found pricing of piplelines was uncompetitive.

“The ACCC welcomes the COAG Energy Council’s current consultation on the changes that would need to be made to the coverage criteria under the National Gas Law to pose more of a constraint on this behaviour,” Mr Sims said.

“Central Petroleum has highlighted that a lack of regulation of mature pipelines wil hold back new gas supplies.”

To read the chairman’s speech in full, visit the ACCC website.