Editor’s comment

Scott Pearce

Scott Pearce

Australia decides. Almost. Since our last edition in August, Australia went to the polls and delivered a decisively inconclusive result. After 17 days of negotiations with the cross benches that covered a wide range of issues, the Labor Party was successful in gaining support to be returned to government.

The Hon Martin Ferguson has retained his Energy and Resources portfolio which has been well received by the industry. Industry stalwart Ollie Clark has a thought-provoking article in this edition that looks back at the election and forward to the issues facing the Government for the current term.

The Government has since instigated its Policy Transition Group who will advise on the transition of existing petroleum projects to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT). The Group has released a PRRT Issues Paper which sets out its view on the mechanics of how the PRRT should apply to coal seam gas (CSG) and LNG projects. From here, draft PRRT legislation for public comment will be issued before June 2011, and then the Government will introduce legislation to Federal Parliament in late 2011.

With numerous LNG projects at varying stages of development around Australia, we look back to the one that started it all. Gas Today’s Associate Editor Katherine St Lawrence recently interviewed Shane McCarthy – who was a lawyer at Shell and intimately involved during the negotiation of the original contracts for the NWS joint venture. His account is a fascinating insight into the process and no doubt one that is being replicated, in many ways, across boardrooms throughout Asia with respect to current Australian LNG projects.

Looking towards developing the projects that this LNG will be contracted from, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke recently gave conditional environmental approval to the Santos-led GLNG Project and BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG Project along with approving the dredging works for Gladstone Port’s western basin to allow LNG tankers access.

As we know, CSG will be the feedstock for the various Queensland LNG projects and in this edition we look at CSG issues including safety and water management as well as reporting on those who are servicing and supplying the industry.

Against this backdrop of activity in Queensland, FutureGAS 2011 (22–24 March 2011 in Brisbane) will be discussing issues including LNG, CSG, domestic gas needs and supply, the latest project developments and also the future of the industry – what are the new frontiers for the natural gas industry including new uses and sources.

Two speakers that we are delighted to have addressing the event are the recently appointed Queensland Gas Commissioner Kay Gardiner, as well as Tony Petersen from the DomGas Alliance in WA. Their perspectives on where the industry is headed and the issues that need to be overcome will be a highlight of the event. In addition, this year we will have a one-day technical stream that will address issues and developments for engineers and technologists.

You can follow developments in the program, find out more about the event and also register to take advantage of the earlybird rates at www.futuregas.com.au

The Short Term Trading Market (STTM) commenced operations in Sydney and Adelaide on 1 September this year, the result of a lengthy process aimed at improving transparency and efficiency of the east coast gas market – we speak with those active in the market to gain their impressions on the performance of the STTM to date.

An issue that we regularly promote in Gas Today is natural gas as a transport fuel. In this edition we hear about a new technology to drive heavy transport and developments to create a refuelling network along major routes.

Finally, we take a look at activities in New South Wales including their growing coal seam gas industry and gas-fired generation.

With this our last issue for 2010, we hope you have had a successful year and look forward to reporting to you throughout 2011.

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