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Survey finds Australia’s gas price below average

According to the International Gas Union’s 2019 Wholesale Gas Price Survey, Australia’s average gas price last year was US$4.54/MMBTU ($6.53), which ranked 27 out of 54 countries.

This price was approximately one-third below the average wholesale price in Asia, with major LNG exporters China, South Korea and Japan all paying more than US$8/MMBTU ($11.51).

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive Andrew McConville said the survey showed the “widely repeated” claim that importers of Australian LNG were paying less than Australian customers was incorrect.

“While the Australian gas market is relatively tight and prices for new contracts are higher than they have been historically, it remains the case that across the economy that Australian gas consumers are not paying prices above those paid on average in Japan or other LNG importing nations,” he said.

“In fact, quite the opposite is true. Australia’s wholesale gas prices remain in the ‘middle of the pack’, a position we have held for many years.”

While they may be in the middle of a worldwide scale, rising domestic gas prices have caused industry on Australia’s east coast to struggle to stay economically viable.

Additionally, despite its high export numbers, the Australian Energy Market Operator has forecast gas shortages could occur in the country in 2023 or 2024.

Mr McConville said facilitating more gas exploration would help keep prices down.

“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,” he said.

The survey also found Qatar, who Australia has been competing with to become the world’s biggest exporter of LNG, pays around US$1/MMBTU ($1.44).

Click here to access the survey.

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