APPEA calls on NSW to change gas policy settings

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Image credit: flickr User: WabbyTwaxx

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has made a final determination that will see retail gas prices increase by an average of 17.8% across New South Wales (NSW) from 1 July.

Image credit: flickr User: WabbyTwaxx
Image credit: flickr User: WabbyTwaxx

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said in a media release that the increase in gas prices was down to inadequate and poor NSW energy policy settings that prevented exploration and development of its gas resources.

“Gas prices have been lower in eastern Australia for the last 15 years but are now rising due to a range of factors, including increased supply costs and restrictions on the ability of companies to adequately obtain access to resources. As demand for any commodity increases and the cost of producing that commodity increases, so too does the price,” said Paul Fennelly, Chief Operating Officer — Eastern Region at APPEA.

“Industry has long argued that downward pressure cannot be placed on rising gas prices without expanding the natural gas industry in NSW. Yet policy settings that provide certainty for industry to explore and produce natural gas are sadly lacking.”

He said the country possessed large natural gas resources for both domestic and export consumers that needed to be exploited to bring the gas prices down.

“Natural gas projects underway near Narrabri in the north-west of NSW and Gloucester, in the mid-north coast region, are vital for the supply of natural gas into the NSW domestic market as they would reduce the current heavy reliance on gas imports for 95% of the state’s supply,” said Mr Fennelly.

“Today’s IPART determination shows that NSW must contribute to the east coast market and get on with developing its natural gas resources, lifting a freeze on exploration and giving urgent consideration to projects that would increase supply.”