Pipeline regulation review to inform gas reforms

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The COAG Energy Council has asked the AEMC to review parts 8-12 of the National Gas Rules to address concerns that consumers are overpaying for gas pipeline services, as part of its larger commitment to deliver comprehensive gas reforms.

The review will include consideration of whether rules need to be changed so that any non-contestable pipeline services are subject to appropriate regulation, including price regulation.

It will also consider strengthening rules relating to access negotiation and dispute resolution between pipeline service providers and their customers.

In undertaking this review, the AEMC will work closely with the Gas Market Reform Group, established by the COAG Energy Council, which is progressing implementation of recommendations from the AEMC’s east coast gas review.

This review will also be informed by the experiences of gas consumers, industry participants, regulators and governments.

This work builds on major reviews completed in 2016:

  • The AEMC’s east coast wholesale gas market and pipeline frameworks review, which recommended a comprehensive package of changes to make it easier to buy and sell gas and transport it across the east coast
  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) east coast gas market inquiry into the competitiveness of wholesale gas prices, which drew two key conclusions: first, that some producers had taken advantage of supply uncertainty to increase prices and implement restrictive non-price terms and conditions; and second, that regulated pipelines may be charging monopoly prices

The AEMC will publish an issues paper by 30 June 2017, which will outline key issues and questions for stakeholders and will call for written submissions. The final report of this review will be published by June 2018.

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