16 Aug 2023

Media Release: WA’s pre-emptive Dom Gas intervention will damage new gas supply investment

The West Australian Government’s decision to pre-empt its own Dom Gas Inquiry and announce changes that would curb investment in new onshore gas supply was extremely disappointing, Australia’s oil and gas industry said today.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said the Government’s decision not to consider any exemptions from the WA Domestic Gas Policy would discourage investment at a time when the State needs more gas supply to meet growing demand as coal shuts down and new mineral processing industries emerge.

APPEA WA Director Caroline Cherry said the changes would make it harder for onshore proponents to access investment for projects and disincentivise producers from bringing new supply into the market.

“This is a disappointing outcome particularly given there is a Parliamentary Inquiry currently taking place into the effectiveness of the Dom Gas Policy and Government has pre-empted any recommendations out of the Inquiry process,” she said.

“Part of the ongoing inquiry was looking at the Government’s role itself in ensuring adequate supply into the future and yet these pre-emptive policy changes without consultation will undermine investor confidence.”

In December, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) WA Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) found overall WA domestic gas demand was forecast to increase from 1,099 TJ/day in 2023 to 1,278 TJ/day in 2032, at an average annual rate of 1.7%.

Ms Cherry said: “WA needs to bring more gas supply to the market to power WA’s growing resources sector and support the South West electricity system as coal-fired power is phased out.

“But today’s changes, and the way they have been announced, are the opposite of what is needed and will only diminish new gas supply investment and the state’s path to net zero.”