Showing posts with label gas industry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gas industry. Show all posts

Friday, 26 May 2017

NSW nurses & midwives stand with Pilliga-Narrabri communities against Santos coal seam gas project


“Santos expects to build 850 production wells over the next two decades” within the mining lease. ABC NEWS, 10 April 2017, PHOTO: An aerial shot of the Santos CSG exploration project in the Pilliga. (Audience supplied: Dean Sewell)

Echo NetDaily, 19 May 2017:

Local nurses are voicing their concerns about the threat to health in a submission to the government objecting not only to the Santos Narrabri Coal Seam Gas Project, but to all CSG mining across NSW.

It was following a successful motion put forward by the Lismore Base Hospital branch of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association that the a submission was lodged.

‘As nurses and midwives we believe that an ecologically sustainable environment promotes health and wellbeing. We are greatly concerned about the health of communities impacted by CSG’, said Heather Ryan Dunn, midwife and Vice President of the Lismore Base branch of the NSWNMA. ‘We also know that climate change is the biggest threat we are currently facing and that decisions made today will impact greatly on future generations.’

The 20 page submission which includes references to CSG well accidents and risks to human health via contaminated water and air pollution, is one of approximately 12,000 already submitted in response to the EIS, a record breaking and resounding ‘no’ from objectors to the project.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Australia's national gas shortage mirage


It is a case of now you see it now you don’t, courtesy of a rapacious gas industry and the governments which blindly support it............

SHORTAGE!

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) , media release, 28 February 2017:

Australia urgently needs more gas supply and more gas suppliers to head off a supply shortfall forecast for 2019.
APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said the report released today by AiGroup shows customers will pay a heavy price for government bans on developing new gas supply.
“Gas is no different to any other commodity – you restrict supply, you push up prices,” Dr Roberts said.
“We have the bizarre situation of State governments banning new gas projects and then complaining about higher gas prices.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Productivity Commission and a host of independent commentators all agree that stifling supply can only lead to higher prices.
“Yesterday, the ABS released data showing gas exploration is at its lowest level since 2005.
“Today, the AWU is calling for the Commonwealth to force Australian gas producers to tear up their contracts.  We need billions in investment to unlock new gas supplies but the AWU’s approach would kill investment overnight.
“There is no shortage of gas which can be developed to supply all of our local and export customers.
“Just as our agricultural industries have the capacity to supply export and domestic markets, so does Australia’s east coast gas industry.  Our LNG exporters are also the major suppliers to the domestic market.
“People concerned by the impact of higher gas prices on local customers should be arguing for the removal of unnecessary restrictions on developing new resources, not more heavy-handed regulation.
“The AiGroup report simply reinforces what APPEA has been saying for years – that gas customers will pay higher-than-necessary prices if restrictions on developing new gas projects continue.
Dr Roberts said it was ironic the AWU’s call for intervention to renegotiate export contracts came on the same day that domestically‑focused Cooper Energy and the APA Group announced a $605 million investment in developing the Sole Project to supply east coast gas market.
“Changes that increase the cost of exploration and production in Australia will place future investment – like that required for projects such as Sole – at risk,” he said.

WHAT SHORTAGE?

We find that although a “gas-price crisis” exists in eastern-Australia, a gas-supply shortfall is very unlikely to occur. Our review finds that the size of AEMO’s forecast shortfall is very small, amounting to no more than around 0.2% of annual supply.
In addition, only eleven days after announcing its supply-gap concerns, AEMO essentially closed the gap when it published, on its website, updated (lower) electricity-demand forecasts that therefore lead to less demand for electricity generated by burning gas. [University of Melbourne, Australian-German Climate and Energy College, Tim Forcey and Dylan McConnell, 2017, A short-lived gas shortfall]

However, it is also important to note that the total gas supply in Eastern Australia has expanded rapidly in recent years, and the key domestic issue is more to do with the gas price that is now dictated by linkages to international trade, than the supply.
In addition the combination of falling renewable and storage costs means alternative options for the electricity sector will be cheaper than developing relatively expensive unconventional gas resources such as coal seam gas. [University of Melbourne, Australian-German Climate and Energy College, Dylan McConnell, 2017, IS THE AUSTRALIAN GAS SHORTFALL A MYTH?]

The Guardian, 18 May 2017:

A predicted shortage of gas for electricity generation in Australia from 2018 will not eventuate, and the recent surge in domestic prices will not be mitigated by opening up new coal seam gas fields, according to a new report.

In March, the Australian Energy Market Operator (Aemo) predicted that without national reform, Australia would face gas shortages, which would drive power outages, in 2018 and 2019.

“If we do nothing, we’re going to see shortfalls in gas, we’re going to see shortfalls in electricity,” Aemo’s chief operating officer, Mike Cleary, told the ABC at the time.

Despite being described by some as “major”, the actual shortfall of electricity from the gas shortage amounted to the equivalent of less than 24 hours over a 13-year period, according to the new report by Tim Forcey and Dylan McConnell at Melbourne University’s Australian-German climate and energy college.

In any case, less than two weeks after Aemo predicted the shortfall, it published an updated forecast of how much electricity would be needed in the period. It downgraded the previous forecast and completely wiped out the predicted shortage.

The Melbourne University report, which was commissioned by the Wilderness Society and Lock the Gate, also noted that later in March Shell announced it was proceeding with its “Project Ruby” that involved 161 gas wells in Queensland, and also would have closed the shortage, if it were real.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Of Gas and Hot Air


Energy security became a major political issue following a storm-induced blackout in South Australia late last year.  Instead of the massive storm which knocked over the transmission towers being the “villain”, the Prime Minister and his Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg  blamed the state’s level of renewable (wind) energy for the outage. They have persisted with this version of events regardless of all the evidence to the contrary.
In the months since then politicians and others have had a great deal to say about the national energy grid and its shortcomings and renewables and base-load power.  Ideology has played a very significant part in the statements of many politicians. This of course means that truth has often been twisted or completely ignored. 
Recently the focus has been on gas and a predicted gas shortage.
Despite the claims of the Government and many industry players, there is no general gas shortage.  There is, however, a looming domestic shortage because most of the enormous volume of gas being extracted is being exported. 
The Federal Government has rather belatedly recognised that, despite the fact that Australia will soon be the largest gas-exporting country in the world, there will be a shortage of gas for the domestic market.  Moreover, the Government has realised that domestic consumers are paying more for gas than consumers of Australian gas in Japan - even after the cost of processing and transporting of the resource to that country. This has become a rather urgent matter for the Government because domestic gas prices and the uncertainty of supply is hurting local industries.  For a government that talks about jobs and growth, permitting more of our dwindling manufacturing base going either “down the gurgler” or offshore would be politically foolish.
As the Prime Minister’s meetings in recent months with the major gas exporters have not produced the cooperation he hoped for, he recently decided to take further action.  It is action that the industry is unhappy about saying that this will discourage global investment, a claim which is unsubstantiated. There are others, including some in the Government, who believe that this interference in the market is not justified.
What happens elsewhere?  Western Australia, the one Australian state which had the forethought to realise that there was a need to protect local interests, has a gas reservation policy[1]. Many other countries, including Canada, the USA, Israel, Indonesia and Egypt, have various mechanisms to ensure that they won’t end up in the situation that Australia is heading towards.  In their rush to encourage foreign investment, successive Australian Federal Governments failed to see that safeguards to protect domestic gas supplies were needed in the national interest.
Prime Minister Turnbull has stated that his measures will only be needed for the short term because he expects that there will be further development of local gasfields which can service the domestic market. He is referring specifically to NSW and Victoria which have currently stopped unconventional gas mining. (There is an exception in NSW.  Santos’ project in the Pilliga in the north-west is currently going through the planning approval process.)
The Prime Minister is one of many politicians and industry players who have weighed in wanting the opening up of NSW and Victoria to coal seam and unconventional gas mining. 
Recently Ian Macfarlane, the head of the Queensland Resources Council, and a former federal Coalition Minister, criticised the NSW and Victorian Governments for lacking the will to develop their gas resources in the same way that Queensland has.[2] 
What Macfarlane either does not understand or conveniently ignores is that it is what happened in Queensland as well as overseas in the USA and elsewhere that alarmed communities in NSW and Victoria and generated the campaigns against CSG and unconventional gas mining – campaigns that have gathered strength also in the Northern Territory and the north-west of Western Australia. 
In his interview with Leigh Sales on ABC TV’s 7.30 on April 27 Macfarlane paints a very rosy picture of the industry in Queensland [3]. He claims “irresponsible green activism” stopped the industry in NSW.   Blaming the anti-gas campaign on the “greenie” bogey is convenient for many conservatives but is far from a true reflection of the breadth of community opposition to an invasive and polluting industry.
It will be interesting to see whether the urging of the Federal Government and proponents like Macfarlane encourage the NSW and Victorian Governments to change their positions on gas mining. If this happens, the reaction from those who see the industry as an unacceptable threat to agriculture and the environment is easy to predict.
Hildegard
Northern Rivers         
5 May 2017

GuestSpeak is a feature of North Coast Voices allowing Northern Rivers residents to make satirical or serious comment on issues that concern them. Posts of 250-300 words or less can be submitted to ncvguestspeak AT gmail.com.au for consideration. Longer posts will be considered on topical subjects.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Australia 2017: No, means no in the bush when it comes to the gas industry



Go to http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=6456 to view Santos Ltd/Santos NSW (Eastern) Pty Ltd’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for it Narrabri Gas Project – a proposed 850 well gasfield across the Pilliga.

Go to North West Alliance at  http://www.csgfreenorthwest.org.au/ for assistance with a submission.

“Santos Narrabri Gas Project is merely a Trojan Horse to get hold of the whole of NSW”, Protect the West, 6 April 2017

Submission deadline is 22 May 2017.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Santos in the Pilliga could mean light and fugitive emissions pollution for Siding Spring Observatory


The Santos Narrabri Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) covering the Pilliga region is on public exhibition until 22 May 2017 and submissions can be made online by concerned individuals until then.


FACEBOOK:




WE NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE READ, FILL OUT AND SHARE.

Santos plan to build an 850 coal seam gasfield near Siding Spring Observatory has been submitted to the NSW Govt. They plan to triple the amount of pilot flares and double the amount of huge flares, adding damaging light pollution to our region in defiance of the recent declaration of this area being Australia’s only Dark Sky Park recognised internationally.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Copy and paste this provided submission below to this link or write your own with the information provided.

This submission has been written to draw attention to the unacceptable impacts of Santos current plan with light pollution from their upcoming 850 gaswells and flares near Siding Spring Observatory. It is a simple solution, as recommended by the NSW EPA to enclose all flares, not just for emissions and cleaner burning, but also to reduce the amount of unnecessary light pollution from giant flames lighting the night sky.

Siding Spring Observatory is Australia’s only unique science research facility using the largest optical telescopes for astrophysics and astronomy. First established in Coonabarabran NSW, on the Warrumbungle Ranges in the 1960’s it was built here because of the dark skies in this region. While there is historic value of this site from telescopes established over 50 years ago, this observatory hosts the largest optical telescopes from national and international universities and research entities. Not only hosting the largest, this site hosts the second, third, fourth, fifth largest telescopes etc in Australia, playing a key role in science research across the Southern Hemisphere. Over 50 telescopes are listed across the site being used by over 30 universities, institutions and private businesses using cutting edge technology, with some of the most advanced telescopes being used is astrophysical research. Future plans include another 50 telescopes to be built on site within the next decade. All this is reliant on keeping the dark sky dark! If this area was to lose the dark sky, this observatory would not be replicated again in Australia, but moved elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.

From 2013 onwards light emissions from the Santos gasfield exploration have increased to the point that, just the Bibblewindi large flare and unmanned facility alone, creates more light pollution than the entire town of nearby Coonabarabran with over 3500 people residing there. Santos have listed plans to triple the amount of pilot flares and double the amount of large flares including constructing 50 metre high flare stacks, with an average 30 metre high flame above it. Nowhere do they list the EPAs recommended practice to enclose flares, as has been done in NSW areas such as Gloucester. Enclosing flares is the only acceptable mitigation to protect the scientific community from the unnecessary light pollution they plan to emit. Siding Spring Observatory already has to deal with light pollution from existing mining and regional towns. Even Sydney itself, from over 400kms away can affect research from its light glow.

Santos are a lot closer than this. Every bit of extra light pollution is making it more difficult to continue the leading scientific research, and while each pollute in different levels, most consider they aren’t doing any damage. But it’s the combination with the existing light sources, adding a cumulative effect which is becoming worse as more pollution is created.

In summary, this is a simple fix in this case, as while Santos building infrastructure is willing to comply with shielded lights for buildings, they need to go a step further and enclose all current and future flares as the NSW EPA recommend. It is the only acceptable solution.

Thanks,

your name

Where to submit
http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=6456
(Click link then scroll to bottom)

Please copy and paste or add your own information. Privacy is an option if you do not want your name made public. Take this opportunity now to help protect Siding Spring Observatory. There will not be another chance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

People For The Plains

Siding Spring Observatory - A Priceless Resource Under Threat

Astronomers at Australia’s world-leading Siding Spring Observatory are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential threat to the observatory from adjacent coal seam gasfields. 

So much so that leading astronomers Robert McNaught and Malcolm Hartley have taken their protests directly to Santos.

Astronomer McNaught commented, “To put at risk the world class status of Siding Spring Observatory is both illogical and galling. It’s also infuriating that community concerns are being trampled upon by both government and industry.” 

The threat of light pollution from gas flares and infrastructure (expected to equal that of a reasonable sized town) and the increase of particulates in the air from flares, increased traffic on unsealed roads and clearing, has prompted the protest against Santos.

Other concerned astronomers and the community of Coonabarabran are united against coal seam gas (CSG) developments in the area.

The iconic observatory has been an important scientific tool and economic boon for the Coonabarabran area and Australia for over 50 years, with 30,000 visitors annually, many of them school children and family groups. About $5 million dollars is injected into the local economy each year.

The Federal Government has highlighted the protection of the observatory as one of the key areas it will be looking at in the Environmental Impact Statement of the Narrabri Gas Project, because of its importance to the regional economy and the national astronomy sector.

The site was chosen due to its high elevation, low humidity, non-turbulent atmosphere, clean air and clear night skies. These attributes bring astronomers from around the globe.

Siding Spring is the largest optical astronomy research centre in Australia, now with 47 Australian and international telescopes, and with more international and local research institutes looking to expand, including Japan and the US. 

More than $100 million worth of research equipment is located at the observatory.

Siding Spring employs many technical and maintenance staff, with around 40 living in Coonabarabran and another 50 (not including astronomers) living in Sydney and Canberra.

The observatory has been integral in the discovery of many comets, asteroids and galaxies and is renowned throughout the world.

Recent discoveries include the oldest known star, the largest comprehensive mapping of the universe in the world, and an intensive study of the closest known super nova.

The Siding Spring Observatory survived destruction during bushfires in 2013 and is now under threat by the proposed Santos coal seam gas developments in the Pilliga Forest and future expansion into other PELs including the Liverpool Plains and Coonabarabran itself.

The threat to Siding Spring Observatory is just one of many issues created by proposed Santos CSG developments that have led to community solidarity against Santos in Coonabarabran and opposition in the surrounding area.


The Guardian, 21 October 2014:

As well as light pollution, astronomers are concerned that material dispersed from mining operations will be corrosive to telescope lenses. Siding Spring has around 50 high-grade telescopes pointing at the heavens.

Peter Small, who provides technical support for Siding Spring, said an existing mining operation at Boggabri already gives off more light than the neighbouring towns of Narrabri and Gunnedah.

“We get light pollution from that – we even get light pollution from Sydney, which is 400km away, so you don’t have to be that close,” he said.

“This will reduce visibility. If there’s light pollution from anywhere, never mind about the gasfields, this site becomes unviable. It would shut down and all those local jobs would be lost.

Astronomers Malcolm Hartley and Robert McNaught

Monday, 3 April 2017

Dear Mr. Hogan, What is your position on your leader's plan to encourage the gas industry by mandating that landowners "hosting" wells be given 10% of royalties?

  
Knitting Nannas Against Gas
Grafton Loop
c/- PO Box 763
Grafton 2460






_____________________________



24th March 2017

Mr Kevin Hogan MP
Member for Page
63 Molesworth St
LISMORE 2480

Dear Mr Hogan

Barnaby Joyce’s Gas Royalty Plan

The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas was surprised to hear that the National Party Leader, Barnaby Joyce, is promoting a plan which he believes will lead to community acceptance of CSG and unconventional gas mining in areas of our nation where there has been strong resistance to this invasive and polluting industry.

We believe that Mr Joyce has no appreciation of the deleterious impacts of gas-mining which have been overwhelmingly demonstrated in Queensland as well as in other parts of the world. We also believe that his attempt to bribe landowners will not lead to community acceptance of the industry.

Some of the Nannas in our Loop have experience of what a Queensland gasfield is like and how appalling living in or near a gasfield is to local communities. You might care to read Nanna Lynette’s gasfield inspection report on the Nannas’ blog at: http://knaggrafton.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/queensland-gasfield-tour-knitting.html

Mr Hogan, you previously supported those who opposed the industry in your electorate. (We are uncertain whether this concern about the industry extended beyond your electorate to other parts of the nation.)

What is your position on your leader’s plan to encourage the gas industry by mandating that landowners “hosting” wells be given 10% of royalties?

Do you believe that this bribe will ensure that neighbouring landowners (as differing from directly impacted landowners) will accept the industry in their areas? Do you believe that the rest of the community will accept the industry?
We look forward to your response.

Regards


Leonie Blain
on behalf of the Grafton Nannas

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

GAS SHORTAGE! GAS SHORTAGE!: Why on earth do you think we would believe you now, Malcolm?


“Santos now argues that its aim in CLNG was always as much about raising the domestic gas price, and therefore re-rating large parts of the portfolio outside of GLNG, as it was about the project…….What is more, with a ~0.8% drag on Australian GDP from every $2/GJ rise in the domestic gas price, this view certainly wouldn’t have been terribly popular with politicians who approved the project. [Credit Suisse, Asia Pacific/Australia Equity Research: Santos, 11 March 2014]

The reality for Australian householders is that on on average gas cost the same or more than electricity by 2012.

After managing to artificial inflate the domestic price of gas still further and wanting to reserve as much LNG as possible for the larger export market, now the Australian gas industry is crying shortages in order to blackmail state governments into opening up more conventional and unconventional gas fields across rural and regional Australia.

The fact of the matter is that since at least 1975 domestic energy consumption has been lower than energy production and export, while current gas domestic consumption remains significantly lower that current gas production.

According to the Australian Dept. of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Australian Energy Update 2016:

Natural gas production rose by 5 per cent in 2014–15 to 2,607 petajoules (66 billion cubic metres). Western Australia remained Australia’s largest producer of natural gas, producing nearly two-thirds of total gas production in 2014–15. Queensland production grew 45 per cent to become Australia’s second largest producer, overtaking Victoria, where production fell by 11 per cent. Production of coal seam gas increased by 50 per cent in 2014–15, to reach 462 petajoules (12 billion cubic metres), as new wells were drilled in Queensland to support the start of LNG exports from Gladstone. Coal seam gas accounted for 18 per cent of Australian gas production on an energy content basis, and nearly half of east coast gas production.

This Australia Institute graph makes the relationship between 2016 gas production and domestic consumption levels clearer:

Graph retrieved from Twitter

So why the alleged gas shortage?

The gas industry in Australia ignored signs that domestic gas consumption would rise and, in an excess of greed made commitments to export markets which appear to have been predicated on the assumption that it would be able to easily and profitably make up the competitive squeeze between domestic need, client country needs and its own commercial aims - because it would still be allowed open slather to drill or frack every available square kilometre of land with gas reserves beneath it.

This can all be explained in one sentence. The gas industry has been deliberately manipulating and starving the domestic market for years.

Mainstream media is finally looking at this problem a little more closely and explaining how businesses and consumers are being played for fools.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2017:

Let's be clear: there is no gas shortage. Not in Australia, and not around the world. In fact, there's the opposite: a global glut of the stuff. BHP has already admitted there's enough gas in Bass Strait to supply the east coast "indefinitely". And globally, by the end of 2015 the gas industry was capable of producing about 25 per cent more liquefied gas than the world wanted to import.

By 2020, production capacity looks set to increase another 30 per cent. Even if demand is increasing – and that's not absolutely clear – it's not keeping pace with that. The world's biggest importer, Japan, has been reducing its demand for several years, and according to its own government, will be buying 30 per cent less gas by 2030 as it turns its focus to renewables….

So it was all very encouraging to hear Turnbull boasting this week about the size of his constitutional stick. "We have a responsibility – which we do not shirk from"; the industry understands the gravity of its "social licence" to operate. Et cetera. But the government has steadfastly refused to use that stick previously. And when you have gas companies slugging Australians record prices while charging their Asian customers record low prices, it's a little hard to believe they stay awake at night worrying about the terms of their "social licence".

What's much easier to believe, though, is that the gas industry is desperate to get its hands on gas supplies that are off limits – especially controversial ones like, say, coal seam gas. And if they have to offer a little more domestic supply to do it – at a time when global demand is slowing anyway – then it's hardly a sacrifice. Oh, and as it happens, that's exactly what Turnbull would like to offer them, hence his condemnation of the states' bans on further gas extraction.

It's a neat trick, really. Take a country with enough gas to supply itself "indefinitely", send the vast majority of it overseas, refuse to sell locally at a fair price, create a domestic shortage, then demand access to some of our most environmentally sensitive resources as though it's an emergency measure.
The Australian, 18 March 2017:
According to a report compiled by Energy Edge, the $US18.5 billion ($24.1bn) Gladstone LNG project, run by Santos, has at times been buying the equivalent of up to half of the whole east coast’s energy demand to meet a shortfall of gas to put through its two LNG production trains.
It is little wonder then that high up in the gentlemen’s agreement struck on Wednesday were commitments to supply, rather than deplete, domestic gas markets.
It is also clear that only two of the three Gladstone projects could agree to being net domestic gas contributors “as part of their social licence”.
The GLNG project has had to “take the matter on notice”, the agreement said.
The other two LNG projects — Queensland Curtis LNG run by Shell and Australia Pacific LNG run by Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips — have been consistently providing gas to the market (and GLNG, sometimes) on top of their export commitments.
“QCLNG and APLNG are currently either net long or balanced to the market, whereas GLNG is significantly short on equity supplies and must rely on third-party contracts,” Energy Edge said.
That was known by most observers.
But, using a range of public sources, Energy Edge says GLNG has sometimes bought a staggering 500-600 terajoules a day of gas on top of its own production.
Illustrating how substantial that volume is, the combined domestic demand from the pipeline-connected eastern states of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania is about 1250 terajoules a day.
GLNG appears to already be averaging the use of about 300-400 terajoules a day of third-party gas — that is, gas outside the coal-seam gasfields it has developed specifically to feed its LNG project — for its LNG export.
With APLNG and QCLNG ­already fulfilling the demand, any short-term change will need to come from Santos and its GLNG partners Total and Kogas, although it might pay the rest of the industry to somehow provide some assistance.
After the meeting, Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher, who was brought in last year to fix the problems, would not comment on exactly what the GLNG response could be.
“As an Australian company that has supplied the domestic market since its inception, we look forward to working with and supporting the government on this issue,” Mr Gallagher said.
“We are committed to working across all of our joint ventures to free up gas as well as continue to identify and develop new resources for the domestic market.”
As recently as December, at the company’s investor day, Mr Gallagher said the aim was to ramp up GLNG volumes to fill 6 million tonnes of the plant’s 7.8 million tonnes of annual LNG export capacity.
This could be potentially expanded by offering tolling services to other Australian gas producers who might want to export their gas but didn’t have the facilities, he said.
Enthusiasm for toll-treating has probably eased off in the wake of the meeting with Mr Turnbull and the current alarm around contract prices that Australian Competition & Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said this week “are apparently being offered at $20 a gigajoule, if they receive supply offers at all”.
East coast gas contract prices were $3 to $4 per gigajoule before the export plants were committed to and are said to now average $8 to $10, except in extreme cases.
The $70bn worth of Gladstone gas freezers and associated coal-seam gas wells have rapidly tripled east coast gas demand and opened the market up to international buyers.
This has ended an era of cheap Australian domestic gas supply, although the industry says this would have happened anyway because the cost of developing required resources was rising.
But the expected price hike has been exacerbated and come with shortages thanks to external factors and industry and government missteps, many of them flagged by observers before they were committed to.
Despite calls for industry to collaborate, three separate, almost identical plants were approved by Queensland and federal governments and, from 2010, built by the gas industry on Curtis Island.
This resulted in increased capital costs because infrastructure was not shared, cost blowouts as the remote construction market heated up and the building of six LNG production trains when the associated coal-seam gasfields could only really supply enough fuel for five.
To achieve efficiencies of scale, GLNG built two trains when it only had enough gas to comfortably fill one, admitting it would need to buy an unspecified amount of third-party gas to fill the second train.
After this, much that could go wrong has gone wrong.
Oil prices crashed, robbing gas developers of cash flow and investor funds that would have been used for extra LNG-related and domestic gas development, while community opposition to onshore gas production grew, resulting in bans or restrictions on new development in NSW, Victoria and now the Northern Territory.
At the same time, coal-seam gas resources did not perform as well as hoped at some Santos GLNG grounds, Santos’s Narrabri project in NSW (which was also hit by community opposition) and at the Bowen Basin ground of the Arrow joint venture between Shell and PetroChina.
It is not clear what the options are for GLNG, but Credit Suisse analyst Mark Samter has made repeated calls for it to close down one of its two trains — something Mr Gallagher ruled out last year.
Now an incredibly rich Liberal Party politician heading a Liberal-Nationals federal government – who was a failure as Minister for the Environment and Water, an abject failure as Minister for Communications and is a profound disappointment as Prime Minister of Australia – expects voters to believe that there is a genuine gas supply emergency which will leave local families and businesses going without unless the states allow indiscriminate gas mining.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

SE Queensland: a social, economic and environmental tragedy unfolded


 @JoJamesHolden Industrialisation of SE Queensland - gasfield growth

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Australian natural gas lobby groups caught lathering up the soft soap



The Guardian, 9 November 2016:

A coalition of natural gas lobby groups are planning a coordinated campaign to convince Australians gas is “a long-term necessity”, top industry lobbyists have revealed.

They also disclosed plans to undermine government attempts to regulate sections of the industry that have been identified by the competition watchdog for price gouging by offering the federal environment minister “something he can announce” – but which would not amount to regulation.

The president of the Australian Pipeline and Gas Association, Shaun Reardon, told a meeting of the gas industry in Perth last month that the industry had agreed on a message to sell to the public, the industry website Energy News Bulletin reported.

“Our objective is to have gas acknowledged as a long-term necessity by policymakers and the public,” Reardon was reported as saying.

The chief executive of gas association, Cheryl Cartwright, told Guardian Australia that representatives of each of the industry lobby groups had “agreed to a united view regarding gas”.
Cartwright said the industry needed to “improve the public perception of natural gas”.

“Basically, we represent the gas industry,” she said. “Natural gas is an important part of the energy mix as we encourage Australia to reduce carbon emissions. It’s cleaner burning than coal, and is an appropriate back-up fuel for renewable energy sources.”

A report released last month found unmeasured “fugitive emissions” from the gas industry were likely to be as big as those emitted by the entire transport sector. Since fugitive emissions are rarely measured, they are not properly accounted for, and could jeopardise any attempt to meet emissions reduction pledges made in Paris.

If fugitive emissions from the coal seam gas industry in Australia were anywhere near what they are in the US, coal seam gas would be worse for the climate than coal.

Cartwright said the industry should fight attempts to regulate gas pipelines. In April the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found evidence that “a large number of pipeline operators have been engaging in monopoly pricing”.

The ACCC pointed out that other countries, such as New Zealand and the US, imposed much stronger regulation. Since pipelines are natural monopolies, they are able to dictate prices.
“It is well recognised in these jurisdictions that pipelines can wield substantial market power even where producers and users have a number of transportation options,” the ACCC said.

Cartwright told the conference the federal minister for the environment and energy, Josh Frydenberg, had told her he wanted to regulate gas pipelines.

“Minister Frydenberg actually said to me, quote, ‘I know supply needs to be addressed but we’re going to fix pipelines first,’’’ Cartwright was reported saying in Energy News Bulletin.

“Basically, they are convinced there is something wrong and they want to be able to make an announcement,” Cartwright reportedly said.

Cartwright told the gas industry meeting they needed to give Frydenberg “something to announce”.

“So this is what we are up against,” she said. “Not only do we need to fight back, we have to do it in a way that gives them something to announce and actually I think we can do it.”…..

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Multinational gas and petroleum giant BP withdraws from offshore exploration in the Great Australian Bight - for now.


Multinational gas and petroleum giant BP plc (British Petroleum) operating as BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd (BP), in its capacity as operator of the proposed Great Australian Bight (GAB) Exploration Drilling Program has announced that:


Concerned citizens and environmental groups can see this as a win – even if business economics and the risk profile for mega storm in the Great Australian Bight may have had a much to do with this decision as the strength of community opposition.

However, it should be noted that BP does not appear to be abandoning its offshore petroleum exploration leases in the GAB which don’t expire until 2020* and, this multinational is not the only oil and gas corporation with exploration licenses in the area - Santos, Chevron and Murphy Australia Oil received exploration permits in 2013-2015 which are current until 2020-2021, Karoon Gas has a permit current until 2022, joining a Bight Petroleum Pty Ltd presence there not due to end until 2020-21.


Nor has the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) indicated that it is averse to further mining exploration being undertaken in the Great Australian Bight.

* BP had guaranteed to undertake exploration worth about $605 million and drill four exploration wells in 2016-17 and under a “Good Standing Agreement” entered into with the federal government it is reportedly liable for that amount unless it commits to a new project within Australia or its Norwegian joint venture partner StatOil decides to exercise an option to proceed with the GAB exploration program.