Time to focus on hard issues in gas supply: APGA

APGA National Policy Manager Steve Davies.

APGA National Policy Manager Steve Davies.

The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) has called for an end to the mud-slinging and myth-peddling that is distracting policy-makers from finding a resolution to the very real problem confronting the nation of a likely shortage of affordable gas in the future.

An article in the Australian Financial Review adds to the confusion surrounding this important debate by repeating discredited information about the cost of gas transmission, according to APGA National Policy Manager Steve Davies.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s East Coast Gas Inquiry shows the range of prices paid for transportation on major East Coast pipelines,” said Mr Davies.

“The article gives yet another airing to complaints from Central Petroleum that the price of transporting gas from its Northern Territory lease to the East Coast is too high.

“It misquotes Central’s submission to the Vertigan review suggesting the company would be charged $2.70 a gigajoule to use the Carpentaria pipeline, one of four pipelines needed to carry its gas to Sydney.

“The fact is that Central’s submission quoted a price of $2.70 a gigajoule to transport its gas from Mt Isa to Sydney across three pipelines and $2.10 from its lease to Mt Isa.

“The ACCC’s 2016 East Coast Gas Inquiry recommendations focussed primarily on pipelines and, as predicted, this has done little to influence gas supply or gas prices to industry.

Gas transportation costs have remained the same for a decade, and make up just 10 to 20 per cent of the delivered price of gas for large users connected to the transmission network.

Instead of using discredited information to blame different sectors of the industry, it’s time to look at the whole supply chain.

We hope that the new inquiry the ACCC will conduct over the next three years will achieve that aim and provide some real solutions.”

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