25/03/2009 - 15:32

National support needed for natural gas

25/03/2009 - 15:32

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Peak gas industry groups have urged government backing for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry to achieve its economic and environmental potential.

National support needed for natural gas

Peak gas industry groups have urged government backing for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry to achieve its economic and environmental potential.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive Belinda Robinson told the National Press Club the industry could deliver 52,000 jobs, $10 billion in tax and excise revenue annually, and avoid 180 million tonnes of global emissions.

"These targets can be reached, but will only be reached if the industry is allowed to compete on its merits within an internationally competitive framework," said Ms Robinson.

Ms Robinson said Western Australia's 130 trillion cubic feet of gas combined with other deposits around the country could supply Australia's domestic and international demand for more than 250 years.

But she said the industry was underutilised, with only two LNG projects currently in operation, the North West Shelf operated by Woodside and Darwin LNG operated by CononoPhillips.

"We do ... have $200 billion worth of gas projects on the drawing board ... the challenge is to shift these projects off the drawing boards and into construction,"she said.

Ms Robinson's address was endorsed by the Australian Pipeline Industry Association and the Australian gas transmission industry.

APIA chief executive Cheryl Cartwright said Australia should not be disadvantaged in the global energy market by policies that penalise emissions in Australia, making the local LNG industry compete with international industries that are not penalised.

Ms Cartwright said 60 per cent of the nation's LNG was used locally for manufacturing and power generation, and was the least expensive way for Australia to reduce its carbon emissions.

If Australia utilised all its currently known LNG resources, it could reduce 180 million tones of greenhouse gas emissions where LNG is substituted for coal in electricity generation, create more than 50,000 jobs and raise more than $10 billion annual tax, according to APPEA

 

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