The Victorian Gas Planning Report Update, released today by the Australian Energy Market Operator, is the latest in a series of reports warning of the deteriorating situation for Victorian gas consumers.
“AEMO’s forecasts indicate that Victoria could face a gas supply-demand shortfall as early as 2022, said APPEA CEO Dr Malcolm Roberts.
“Victoria has benefitted from record production over the last two years from the offshore Gippsland Basin, but as offshore production falls the state will face tighter market conditions.
“AEMO warns that, without new gas supply, Victoria could face shortfalls from 2022. More gas supply capacity may also be needed to head off the risk of a shortfall in meeting Victorian winter peak day demand from 2021.
“Other official reports have been warning for many years that Victoria needs more local gas production – offshore and onshore. The AEMO report highlights the urgent need to remove the moratoriums and bans that have killed onshore gas development in the state.
“The state now has Australia’s most expensive wholesale gas and costs will only rise if Victoria must use more gas from interstate.
The AEMO report follows an important Commonwealth announcement that shows governments can act to relieve the pressure on customers.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matt Canavan, has announced $24 million in grants to accelerate the development of four onshore gas projects. These projects will bring forward the delivery of gas into the east coast market.
The four projects – from Armour Energy, Westside Corporation, Beach Energy and Tri-Star Fairfields – will supply an extra 12.4 petajoules of new gas to the east coast market by 30 June 2020 and an extra 27.6PJ over five years.
South Australia operates a similar program that is bringing forward new supply in that state.
“Time is running out for Victoria to avert a supply shortfall,” Dr Roberts said.
“Projects need time as well as dollars to bring on new supply.”