Last year’s inaugural AFR Energy Summit made a significant impact on the development of a national clean energy transition plan; hosting more than 300 of the sectors top policy-makers and industry leaders.
This year, the Summit returns with an even sharper focus on policy and regulation; and a view to uncovering the conditions and environment needed for Australia to resolve its ongoing energy crisis.
Jemena CEO, Paul Adams, is among the esteemed line-up of speakers to provide an industry perspective at the event. Ahead of the Summit, he shared with us some insights into his current thinking.
Mr. Adams, how do you believe Australia can ensure there is sufficient gas supply for the domestic market without causing market distortions?
Australia is blessed with some of the best gas fields in the world which are capable of supplying both the domestic and export gas markets now and into the future. We know, for example, that the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory has enough gas to supply the east-coast for the next 50 or so years.
In order to access this gas and deliver it to Australian homes and businesses the energy industry needs policy certainty from the federal, state, and territory governments over the short and long term.
This will create an environment that encourages and supports the sector to invest in the infrastructure that is needed to get gas to where it is most needed, while also mitigating policy decisions from being made which have the potential to distort the market.
What do you believe is the optimal infrastructure solution (i.e. gas pipelines, LNG import terminals, gas processing centers, gas storage hubs); and what do you believe is needed to incentivise supply development?
I believe all options – pipeline infrastructure, import terminals, LNG terminals, gas processing centers, gas storage hubs – should remain on the table with the market being left to determine the most efficient and economically sound way of bringing more gas to Australian homes and businesses.
What we need now is stable rules which encourage long-term investment in the right assets (while avoiding increased regulation which can stifle investment) and appropriate market signals which ensure prices reflect supply/demand.
It’s not for governments to pick the winners – they need to create the enabling environment, and then allow the market to determine the best solutions.
What impact do you believe the NT government’s decision to lift the fracking ban will cause?
The decision to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory will see more gas introduced into a tight/constrained gas market. This is good news for customers as we know that this increased supply leads to lower gas and lower household gas bills.
Separately, Jemena welcomes the Northern Territory Government’s decision to lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
By allowing well-regulated exploration and unconventional gas development activities to proceed, the Territory is well-placed to maximise the opportunities associated with an onshore gas industry.
I firmly believe that the Territory has a real role to play in bringing additional gas to market to solve forecast gas shortages.
I also believe this will help bolster and extend the already vibrant gas industry in Queensland by bringing additional jobs, expertise, and investment to other parts of northern Australia.
Paul Adams will expand on these key themes at the AFR Energy Summit – to be held 10-11 October at the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney.