AEMO sees ‘finely’ balanced WA gas market


The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) has announced its annual gas outlook for Western Australia indicates a ‘finely’ balanced domestic market until 2031.

Potential supply from existing and prospective projects are expected to meet forecast demand until at least the end of 2024.

The 2021 WA Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) also highlights a potential supply gap of 51 PJ between 2025 and 2027, at rates of up to 85 TJ a day, as depletion of reserves at existing facilities impact supply.

“The peaks and dips observed in the 2021 WA GSOO indicate supply is expected to exceed demand until at least 2024, with the market tightening in the middle of the 10-year outlook period and then levelling out again from 2027,” AEMO’s WA markets group manager, Martin Maticka, said.

Furthermore, as positive outlook for major gas-consuming projects is forecast to lift demand at an average annual rate of 0.8 per cent, increasing from 1,071 TJ a day in 2022 to 1,150 TJ a day in 2031.

Global demand for WA’s commodities is driving much of this growth, with 15 resource projects commencing operation during the outlook period.

AEMO’s 2021 WA GSOO also highlights the interdependencies between the domestic gas and electricity markets, considering the impact additional renewable energy generation has on demand for gas-powered generation (GPG).

Australia’s peak oil and gas body Appea said the AEMO report highlights the need to develop additional gas reserves in WA if the state is to meet increased demand for gas over the coming decade.

Appea WA director Claire Wilkinson said, “The report shows we’ll need more gas to meet our electricity needs as we replace coal, while our critical mining sector will also need more gas to meet the increasing demand for WA minerals.”

AEMO manages electricity and gas systems and markets across Australia, helping to ensure Australians have access to affordable, secure and reliable energy.

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