Appea calls for more exploration acreage

9th July 2021 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

Appea calls for more exploration acreage

Photo by: Bloomberg

PERTH ( - The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has called for the release of more gas acreage to combat Australia’s high wholesale gas prices.

Appea CEO Andrew McConville pointed to the results of the latest international survey of wholesale gas prices by the International Gas Union (IGU), which shows Australia’s average natural gas prices remain competitive, however, the country is faced with higher wholesale gas prices when compared with other leading producers.

The 2021 IGU’s Wholesale Gas Price Survey shows the average wholesale gas price in the Asia-Pacific last year was around 27% higher than in Australia, which was $5.28/million British thermal units (MMBTU).

The average wholesale price in the Asian region was also around 20% higher than the average Australian wholesale price.

The IGU survey again showed the highest wholesale gas prices in the world were found in the main liquefied natural gas (LNG) importing nations of Chinese Taipei, South Korea, Japan and Singapore, at between $8 to $9/MMBTU. Australia’s other major gas export market, China had the fifth highest prices in the survey.

“Our gas is competitive, reliable and helps reduce emissions in Asia. The myth perpetuated by vested interests that Australian gas is more expensive domestically than in our major trading partners is simply not true,” said McConville.

“The statistics also 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.”

The IGU said the lowest prices were 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.

McConville said Australia does face higher wholesale gas prices than other leading gas producers, including the US, Canada, Russia and in the Middle East.

“This in large part reflects the high cost of doing business in Australia, and ongoing impact of restrictions on the development of natural resources,” he said.

“We need more gas closer to major population centres but we can only do this by removing unnecessary government restrictions on exploration and development as it 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 ongoing benefits from our LNG exports.

“At present, our industry faces the higher cost of transporting to major manufacturing centres because of the ongoing impact of restrictions on the development of new supplies close to market.”