Curtis Island LNG exporters say they're not villains

Aerial of Santos GLNG's LNG trains 

Curtis Island, late September 2014.

Photo Contributed
Aerial of Santos GLNG's LNG trains Curtis Island, late September 2014. Photo Contributed Contributed

WITH the mission of tearing down the "villain" status surrounding Curtis Island gas exporters, three gas industry leaders have spoken out about the solutions to Australia's gas crisis.

Santos strategy chief Angus Jaffray joined a small choir of pro-gas industry folk who used an energy summit to prove they were not the villains some made them out to be.

Mr Jaffray said without the $60 billion industry built on Curtis Island, much of the nation's gas reserves would remain untapped, and the market would be even tighter.

The trio of Curtis Island sites and their owners have come under fire amid the tight domestic gas supply and rising prices.

While Santos, Shell and Origin Energy have agreed to supply more gas to the domestic market from their Curtis Island plants, GLNG, QGC and APLNG, Mr Jaffray said the deal was not a long-term solution.

"As a country we cannot expect the Queensland LNG projects to continually bail out the southern states."

Mr Jaffray said the company has spent about $1million to develop Santos' Cooper Basin reserves which would flow into the South Australian, Victorian and New South Wales markets next year.

"The LNG industry was essential to develop the Queensland CSG fields," he said.

Closure of coal-fired power generation, an increase in renewable energy and "alarmist statements" from activists influencing new gas investments were the factors Mr Jaffray said contributed most to the current shortage.

Mr Jaffray said to secure more gas for the market, the industry needed investment support and states would have to lift bans on gas exploration.

Shell chairman Zoe Yujnovich said Australia could not have a thriving export industry without a well-functioning east coast domestic gas market.

Shell, the owner of QGC, exports gas internationally and supplies a quarter of the east coast's domestic supply.

"Blaming the LNG industry alone for recent issues with the supply and price of gas is in itself a selective and intentionally misleading reading of the gas market," she said.

Meanwhile, Origin chief Frank Calabria said excessive intervention into the gas market was not necessary.

Topics:  curtis island gladstoneindustry lng

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