Claims of a lack of capacity in Australian gas pipelines are baseless and cloud the crucial issue of adequate gas supply, Australian Pipeline Industry Association Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Cartwright has said in a recent article published in the The Australian newspaper.
Ms Cartwright said the pipeline industry was tired of transportation issues being conflated with, or confused by, gas supply issues.
“There is no lack of transparency in the transportation infrastructure – that lack of transparency is in the buying and selling of the gas,” she said.
“The answer to any increase in gas prices is increased availability of supply.”
Since 2000, the gas transmission industry invested in and built more than $2.2 billion in new infrastructure providing 4000km of coverage across 10 major new gas transmission pipelines in eastern and northern Australia. These pipelines have been built to meet the demand of eastern Australia’s gas markets. In Western Australia, APIA’s members have invested more than $2 billion in the same period improving the gas delivery capabilities of transmission infrastructure in that state.
“It is this investment that has led to the evolution of a pipeline network across eastern Australia’s gas markets, promoting basin on basin competition and underpinning the emergence of trading hubs in the demand centres of Australia,” Ms Cartwright said.
“It is this network that will facilitate the next evolution in trading and increased flexibility across these markets.
“The reality is, once people have gas to move, the transmission industry is more than willing to provide the capacity they need – this is our industry’s core business. Pipeline companies are in the business of selling capacity to transport natural gas. If buyers and sellers have more gas to move, transporting is not their major problem.”
Gas buyers and sellers can see information on pipeline capacity and flows of gas on bulletin boards updated daily by the Australian Energy Marker Operator for the eastern market and by the Independent Market Operator in the west. The Gas Statement of Opportunities provides longer-term supply and demand forecasts and measures infrastructure capability.