21/05/2009 - 00:00

Major users make call on gas security

21/05/2009 - 00:00

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WESTERN Australia's energy users have developed a gas security plan they believe should be implemented to the benefit of the domestic power sector.

Major users make call on gas security

WESTERN Australia's energy users have developed a gas security plan they believe should be implemented to the benefit of the domestic power sector.

The initiatives outlined in the DomGas Alliance's 2050 Gas Security Strategy include enforcement of existing laws regarding the development of exploration leases and anti-competitive behaviour.

DomGas also wants to see domestic supply improved through financial incentives to encourage new gas developments; domestic gas reservations; common-use infrastructure between fields and production; and the development of so-called tight gas fields.

DomGas represents a range of domestic gas users including Alinta, Alcoa, Verve, Syndery, Burrup Fertilisers, FMG and the Dampier Bunbury Pipeline.

Domestic gas policy has been a vexed issue for several years, with former Premier Alan Carpenter engaging in a high profile war of words on the subject with Woodside Petroleum chief Don Voelte.

In 2006, the state declared a domestic use reservation of 15 per cent of every new field; but the policy was subject to the proviso it is commercially viable to supply domestic customers and has done little, at this stage, to add to domestic supplies.

DomGas also want to see a similar reservation at federal level.

"A national reservation policy will ensure major producers do not avoid domestic supply obligations by constructing floating gas production platforms in Commonwealth waters or by transporting gas to the Northern Territory," the alliance's report said.

DomGas chairman Stuart Hohnen said there had been a marked shift to favouring gas production for LNG exports in contrast to previous rhetoric about the need for gas for local consumption.

Mr Hohnen said big users would take projects elsewhere if gas was not available and viability was threatened.

"We are at that point now, we are closing off significant economic opportunities because of the lack of availability of gas," he said.

 

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