SYDNEY – Australia’s major gas companies assured the government on Wednesday they will increase supply in 2018 to prevent a possible crisis caused by scarcity and rising prices.
The meeting between the government and Australia’s three largest gas companies came after the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission published reports this week predicting a gas shortfall in 2018 that it said could be far worse than initial estimations.
“We have secured guarantee from these three big gas companies, three big gas exporters that the shortfall... they will provide the gas to meet that,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney after meeting the top management of Shell, Santos and Origin.
The guarantee would cover not only 2018, but also 2019, Turnbull added.
Australia exports two-thirds of its gas production and some states impose restrictions on its exploration, even though domestic gas price is considered to be high.
The wholesale price of gas for Australians is AU$20 ($15) per gigajoule, almost twice the export price.