Audrey Zibelman, Managing Director and CEO of AEMO, presented on the state of gas operations in Australia at the APPEA conference yesterday hosted by the Queensland Government.

AEMO, as the energy market operator, operates retail and wholesale gas markets across Australia, including (most notably) the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market (DWGM) and the Victorian gas transmission system, in addition to wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market (STTM) hubs in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane.

AEMO’s Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) released in March this year continued to highlighted the growing interdependencies between gas and electricity, foreshadowing a potential shortfall of gas from 2024.

Ms Zibelman was in Queensland yesterday morning to present at the APPEA conference, hosted by the Queensland state government. In her presentations, she emphasised the point that domestic demand for gas powered generation continues to play an important role in the energy mix but, as per the 2019 GSOO, gas powered generation will, alongside renewable generation, replace the energy generated by coal-fired generators (when they reached their natural end of life). As such, Ms Zibelman reiterated that there needs to be a very clear process in place to ensure sufficient supply of natural gas to meet the needs of Australian energy users.

AEMO’s latest analysis finds that supply from existing and committed gas developments is expected to provide sufficient resources to meet demand in southern and south-eastern Australia until 2023. Ms Zibelman confirmed that the immediate actions taken by industry and government in response to AEMO’s 2017 and 2018 GSOO and VGPR reports have delivered an improved outlook for the east coast gas markets, alleviating concerns of a supply shortfall in the short term.

She told the APPEA conference audience that, as per the 2019 GSOO, there is a requirement for further investment in existing reserves or alternative gas supply infrastructure developments, such as additional north to south pipeline capacity or gas import terminals, to reduce the risk of shortfalls.

The 2019 GSOO highlights the growing importance of a fully integrated planning view to be taken across the energy sector, to ensure efficient, reliable, and secure supply of both gas and electricity, as the two sectors are intrinsically linked.


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