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The 2019 Western Australia Gas Statement of Opportunities has found that continued development of the state’s natural gas resources is essential to ensuring increased supply and competitive prices for Western Australian gas users.

The report presents the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) assessment of Western Australia’s domestic gas market for the ten-year outlook period 2020 to 2029.

In its base scenario, potential gas supply exceeds forecasted domestic gas demand throughout the outlook period – but continued development of prospective sources is required to maintain adequate supply.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPPEA) Western Australia Director, Claire Wilkinson, said the report highlighted the development of prospective gas supply sources will maintain supply adequacy over the outlook period.

“Western Australia continues to benefit from bipartisan political support for resource development and an active industry committed to meeting the needs of its domestic and export customers,” Ms Wilkinson said.

The report finds prospective supply sources are expected to be available and economically viable to enter the market in 2022, 2024 and 2026, partly offsetting the decline in potential gas supply from existing production facilities due to reserve depletion.

Western Australian domestic gas supply is expected to be underpinned by projects currently under development, including Browse, Scarborough and West Erregulla.

The report forecasts gas demand will grow at an average annual rate of 1.2 per cent in the base scenario, largely due to growth in the mining and minerals processing sectors.

Ms Wilkinson said Western Australia’s resources of unconventional gas (shale and tight gas), mostly located in the Canning and Perth basins, are estimated to be substantial.

“While WA benefits from substantial remaining conventional gas resource, over the next decade development of additional onshore unconventional resources will be needed to ensure the state continues to benefit from sustained adequate and affordable gas supply,” Ms Wilkinson said.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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