PERTH (miningweekly.com) – New data by the International Gas Union (IGU) has shown that Australia’s average natural gas prices remain among the lowest in Asia.
In its 2020 Wholesale Gas Price Survey, IGU showed that the average wholesale gas price in Australia last year was around 40% less than the average wholesale price for the Asia Pacific region.
The Australian price was also just under 30% less than the average wholesale price in the Asian region.
The IGU survey also showed the highest wholesale gas prices in the world were found in the main liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing nations of North Asia, Chinese Taipei, South Korea and Japan, while Australia’s other major gas export market, China, had the sixth highest prices in the survey.
Globally, Australia’s average wholesale price ranked eighteenth in a survey of 53 nations, with the lowest prices found in countries with regulated markets where producers often sold gas below the cost of production and transportation. Those low-cost producers included Turkmenistan, Algeria and Venezuela.
“Even before the sharp contraction we’ve seen in gas prices this year, Australian gas users have enjoyed very competitive wholesale prices. The widely repeated claim that Australia’s wholesale prices are higher than in the countries importing our LNG has once again shown to be without foundation,” Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) CEO Andrew McConville said on Friday.
“Interestingly, the statistics show countries with the highest gas prices including Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and China – well above Australia – all have successful major manufacturing sectors.”
McConville noted that when compared with recent World Economic Forum listing of the world’s largest manufacturing countries, six out of ten top manufacturing nations in the world have higher gas prices than Australia.
However, Australia does face higher wholesale gas prices than other leading gas producers, including the US, Canada, Russia and the Middle East.
“This is in large part reflects the high cost of doing business in Australia, and increasingly the impact of restrictions on the development of natural resources,” McConville said.
“Removing unnecessary government restrictions on exploration and development is the most effective way to boost supply, enhance competition and put downward pressure on prices, ensuring Australia retains or improves its global position while enjoying the substantial and on‑going benefits from our LNG exports,” McConville said.