Southern Australia facing gas shortages from 2025: report-Xinhua

Southern Australia facing gas shortages from 2025: report

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-21 10:26:00

CANBERRA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Urgent investment is needed to prevent Australia's southern states from facing major gas supply shortages from 2025, the market operator has warned.

According to a report published by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on Thursday, southern Australia is at risk of gas shortages during extreme winter conditions from 2025 as supply struggles to keep up with rising demand for gas-powered electricity generation.

The report warned that without urgent investment in new sources of supply, small seasonal supply gaps may emerge from 2026, becoming annual shortages from 2028.

It said that affected states would include Victoria and New South Wales -- home to over half the Australian population -- as well as South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

The report identified falling gas supply from offshore fields in the Bass Strait, which separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland, as a major factor in the projected shortage.

"Gas production is forecast to fall faster than demand in the south, driven by declining production from Bass Strait, which has historically supplied around two-thirds of southern Australia's gas," AEMO chief executive Daniel Westerman said in a statement.

"From 2028, supply gaps will increase in size as Bass Strait production falls significantly."

Australia is among the world's largest producers of liquefied natural gas but a majority of that produced in the northern states is exported.

In southern Australia, AEMO said gas production will fall from 1,500 petajoules (Pj) in 2022 to 700 Pj by 2028.

Westerman said that running gas-powered generators on liquid fuels such as diesel could offer temporary relief during periods of extremely high gas demand.