Australia's gas industry remains in the spotlight

Australia s gas industry remains in the spotlight  16000646 800504590 0 0 7040152 300

Australia's gas industry has been in the limelight lately, with many people concerned with rising gas prices and the effect it is having on households and businesses in the country.

Additionally, Australia's own liquefied natural gas industry has been making great strides and has proven itself to be of great global significance.

In light of this, on May 27 minister for resources and energy Gary Gray announced that there will be a government study looking into the changing eastern Australian gas market.

The report, undertaken by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism alongside the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, is set to be completed by the end of 2013.

"Australian gas markets are undergoing a period of substantial transformation," said Mr Gray.

"This is especially the case in eastern Australia with the development of coal seam gas and the associated creation of an east coast liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry."

Mr Gray commented that the scale of change in the gas market has been unprecedented, and many expect a tripling of total natural gas demand in eastern Australia by the year 2020 - something that provides both challenges and opportunities.

Some of the challenges Mr Gray highlighted included uncertainty in the timing of production response, the implications of increasing exposure to international markets, as well as queries about the availability and price of domestic gas.

"These are complex issues, but the government has a responsibility to take policy decisions on the basis of a strong understanding of what is actually occurring rather than running the risk of policy being driven by ill-informed populism," said Mr Gray.

He also highlighted the need of all Australians to have access to secure, reliable, and competitively priced power in the long-term, and cited the nation's own natural gas resources as an important part of the residential energy mix.

As well as this, Australia's natural gas is useful for the nation's economy, manufacturing industry and commercial electricity generation.

In April, Mr Gray asserted that Australia is on the road to becoming the world's number one exporter of LNG within the next five years.

Seven of the world's twelve LNG projects are currently under construction in Australia, ramping up production in order to meet rapidly growing domestic and international demand.

Posted by Callum Fleming