1 October Government support for a gas-led COVID-19 recovery October 1, 2020 By Sally Parker General, Industry, Oil and Gas Industry, Gas, COVID-19 0 Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced a gas-led recovery to the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of the government’s JobMaker plan, the government expects the industry to create over 4,000 jobs. Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced a gas-led recovery to the economic recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. A key part of the government’s JobMaker plan, the government expects the industry to create over 4,000 jobs. With AGL set to close the Liddell Power Station in 2023, the issue of supply is also top of mind. Part of the government’s plan is to establish a National Gas Infrastructure Plan to identify priority pipelines and critical infrastructure. The government has indicated that it may even step in where the private sector doesn’t, with the Prime Minister stating that the government will build a 1,000 megawatt power station in the Hunter Valley in the absence of private investment. The government plans to increase gas supplies in the market by: ● Setting supply target requirements on gas licenses; ● Opening up five gas basins including Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory and the North Bowen and Galilee Basin in Queensland; ● Putting in place new agreements with east cost LNG exporters to avoid supply shortfalls; ● Exploring options for a prospective gas reservation scheme; ● Increasing competition and transparency by reforming regulations on pipeline infrastructure; ● Improving access and competition by commencing work on a dynamic secondary pipeline capacity market; ● Establishing an Australian Gas Hub to enable a transparent gas trading system; ● Introduce a voluntary industry-led code of conduct by February 2021; and ● With the ACCC, reviewing the calculation of the LNG netback price. Domestic gas prices are key to the reforms - it’s estimated that domestic prices are 25% higher than international export prices. With gas prices falling, the government can promise voters lower prices while enabling manufacturing. Delivering affordable and reliable gas forms the basis for the government’s plan to fuel the economy. The government’s plans are not without their critics. Tech entrepreneur Michael Cannon-Brookes, favours renewable energy like wind and solar. Rather than relying on gas to fuel manufacturing, he has pushed for a green jobs plan. His plan isn’t at odds with estimates made by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). AEMO has indicated that gas is likely to be less affordable than other forms of energy like batteries and hydro or demand response programs. Labor spokesperson Mark Butler, has argued that renewable energy could create even more jobs - over 50,000. A view echoed by Independent MP, Zali Steggall who also believes renewables should be included in the government’s plans. The issue with renewables is that they can’t yet provide stable energy supply that gas can deliver. The announcement was closely followed by an additional $1.9 billion technology investment, that included enabling the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to keep operating. ARENA would also issue clean technology grants hub, funding technologies like carbon capture use and storage. At present, detail about these initiatives is limited, but we can expect further information and possibly more commitment to the industry in the Federal budget to be delivered on 6 October. Related Articles Submission - DISER Consultation Paper December 2020 ‘Enhancing Australia’s decommissioning framework for offshore oil and gas activities’ A gas-led recovery is on the way The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Australian economy hard. In the March and June quarters of 2020, GDP plunged 7.3%, placing the country into recession. While the economy has since partially rebounded, the government has developed a long term plan for a gas-fired recovery. The economic benefits could be significant. A recent Ernst & Young report found that the oil and gas industry could boost the economy by over $350 billion and create 220,000 new jobs over the next 20 years if key projects are supported. This will be delivered across three key areas. Of the measures outlined, some are well on the way with others yet to come. Energy industry and government response to COVID-19 In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, government and industry have come together to ensure the community, economy and industry are supported. The Council of Australian Governments Energy Council (COAG Energy Council) has formed the Energy Coordination Mechanism (ECM) which is expected to have a complete plan by the end of April. The immediate focus of these efforts has been on four areas How your organisation can benefit from government incentives now Eager to support business and protect jobs, governments at all levels have introduced measures and benefits for businesses. While there are many general benefits, like JobKeeper, that have been offered to many businesses, state governments are now offering opportunities to benefit specific industries and sectors including energy and resources. How COVID-19 could change mining for the better The mining industry was deemed an essential service by the Government, which has enabled it to continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this hasn’t been without its challenges. New processes and procedures were required to address safety and social distancing and issues of supply and worker mobility have impacted how the industry operates. But with adversity comes opportunity and the mining industry has thrived and realised the potential for new improvements amidst the pandemic. Submission - Consultation on the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Titles Administration and Other Measures) Bill 2021 Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.