A short history of Australian east coast gas development

The Oxford Institute of Energy Studies has recently published a useful paper by Visiting Research Fellow, Nikolai Drahos: Australia’s gas trilemma: prices, exports and emissions. https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Insight-100-Australias-gas-trilemma-prices-exports-and-emissions-.pdf

The paper cites work over the years by EnergyQuest, including a contribution to a report presented to the World Gas Conference in Washington in June 2018, Exhibit 7 Australia’s East Coast Gas Market. Revisiting this piece, it may provide some useful background to how the east coast gas market got to where it is now, particularly the challenges that arose from developing a large-scale LNG industry in a domestic gas market, something Western Australia managed to avoid. It also highlights the problems created by states having independent gas policies, something that is apparent more broadly now with states running their own energy policies and most recently with state-based health policies. In the light of the current ACCC review of upstream competition, it could also be argued that there was too much competition in the development of the LNG projects, leading to over-building and over-selling a limited resource. The 2018 paper can be downloaded below.