WA gas inquiry ignores cost of living pressures and need for new gas supply

Australia’s oil and gas industry has emerged as the dominant driver of nation-building new resources projects, creating new jobs and attracting billions of dollars of spending in Australia.

The Australian Government’s Resources and Energy Major Projects (REMP) 2023 report said 12 oil and gas projects accounted for $36 billion of investment (46.5 per cent) of the $77.4 billion pipeline.

Lithium and iron ore each represented $7.2 billion (9.3 per cent) worth of committed projects, gold accounted for $6.6 billion (8.5 per cent) and coal was behind $4.6 billion (5.9 per cent) of ventures.

Australian Energy Producers Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said the results showed how critical the oil and gas industry was to the national economy.

“Australia’s oil and gas continues to power the national economy, creating jobs and delivering billions of dollars of investment, much of it into regional communities,” she said. “The pipeline of new gas projects highlights the importance of policy settings and regulatory certainty to unlock investment in new supply.

“With Australia facing energy shortfalls on both coasts, new gas supply is urgently needed to avoid blackouts and put downward pressure on prices while securing future economic benefits.”

According to the report, only one new oil and gas project reached a final investment decision in the 12 months to November 2023.

Ms McCulloch added: “The pipeline of mining and critical minerals projects will also rely on natural gas supply, with AEMO forecasting resource projects will add a further 23 TJ/day to gas demand in Western Australia by 2026.”

The report also found growing interest in hydrogen projects but with only three out of 76 planned projects reaching the committed phase in 2023, representing a capital expenditure of $234 million.

Ms McCulloch said: “Natural gas combined with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is today the most affordable and mature pathway to scale-up low-carbon hydrogen production.”

Also released today, the latest Resources & Energy Quarterly showed LNG exports for 2023-24 have been revised up from $71 billion to $73 billion, and are forecast to drop to $64 billion in 2024-25.

Oil exports will total $14 billion this year and $11 billion in 2024-25.

/Public Release. View in full here.