Morning Briefing

All your news on the gas industry up to the minute with the Gas Today Morning Briefing.

ENERGY Consumers Australia Chair, Louise Sylvan, Australian Energy Regulator Chair Paula Conboy and CEO of Australian Gas Networks, Ben Wilson, will today address the ENA conference in Brisbane and are expected to tell industry that consumers are experiencing the most disruption to energy since electrification.
The ‘Reorienting Regulation’ forum will cover energy regulation and new markets, storage and demand management; and customer’s need for choice and control in their energy use.

THE PORT of Melbourne Corporation has agreed to incremental stevedore increases until 2028 after backing down from the state government’s proposed 750 per cent proposed increase.
The Australian Financial Review reported today that lawyers for the corporation said the revised pricing increase removed uncertainty for the port’s future.

ABOUT 2000 FIFO workers at Chevron’s $55 billion Gorgon LNG project are threatening strike action unless a more family-friendly roster is provided, the ABC reported.
Currently employees at the Barrow Island development work 26 days straight and then receive a nine-day break. But unions are calling for a 20-day stretch followed by a 10-day break.
The strike action could lead to further delays for the Gorgon LNG project. Chevron told ABC the issue is between contractors and unions.

APPEA CHIEF Executive Malcolm Roberts yesterday welcomed the Productivity Commission’s recognition that Australia’s existing workplace relations system poses risks for major resource projects.
“The Fair Work Act, as it stands, can make it impossible to deliver major resource projects on time and on budget,” Mr Roberts said.
“Union threats to disrupt the completion of Australia’s biggest resource project as part of a campaign for more generous rosters highlight the need for urgent reform.

THE PRODUCTIVITY Commission has stated in its draft report on Workplace Relations that while enterprise bargaining generally works well, it is often ill-suited to smaller enterprises and larger projects.
“Bargaining arrangements for greenfields agreements pose risks for large capital-intensive projects with urgent timelines. A limited menu of bargaining options would address the worst deficiencies, while taking account of the different nature of greenfields projects.”
Submissions to the report are open until September 18.

LOW INTEREST rates and the global oil price glut will spur a global economic recovery, according to one of the biggest bond firms, PIMCO.
The company’s economic advisor, Joachim Fels told investors overnight the combination of both will outweigh the pressures felt from the global savings glut, which is lingering from the 2008 GFC.
Fels said the oil price had helped “mitigate the depressing impact of the savings glut on consumer demand” and that consumers will reap the favourable conditions, which will then improve budgets.

STANDARD & POOR’s third annual global capital expenditure survey has forecast a four per cent decline in global investments in 2016 as the commodities boom distances.
The report predicted a one per cent decline in overall non-financial capital investment across the global economy.
Energy and mining firms, which accounted for about 40 per cent of global expenditure in 2014, have prompted the tightened spending as they face narrower margins brought on by the oil price glut.

SANTOS CEO David Knox has encouraged the Australian Labor Party’s decision to back a national interest test for LNG export projects, Australian media reported this morning.
The Australian Financial Review today reported Mr Knox has “cautiously welcomed” the test, which the ALP announced it would support at its national conference last month.
The test would examine the extent to which export profits trickle down and benefit the Australian community.

ORIGIN Energy’s credit rating is set to be revised down again despite announcing earlier this week it would sell its 53 per cent stake in New Zealand power supplier Contact Energy to purportedly “lower its financial risk”.
Standard & Poor’s already revised the energy firm’s rating to BBB- in April. Today’s Australian Financial Review reported that Moody’s is set to revise the firm’s rating down to Baa3 – a medium-grade subject to moderate credit risk.

THE Australian newspaper has reported that Santos investors are expecting the energy firm to launch a $3 billion rights issue within the coming weeks off the back of weak earnings figures announced in Q2.
The paper cited sources that allegedly understand that three banks are “running the numbers” on a rights issue.

FOLLOWING Ford, Holden and Toyota’s decision to exit the Australian manufacturing, the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, on August 3 announced a joint study into LPG fuelled vehicle manufacturing.
The study will examine ways to support demand for LPG fuelled vehicles, retain and capitalise on Australia’s automotive capability, and will be completed in four months.

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