The gas reservation debate kicked off in February when the West Australian Government released a "consultation" paper, says Nigel Wilson in The Australian (27/7/2006, p.23).
WA has 80% of reserves: The paper begins by saying WA has gas reserves of about 113 trillion cubic feet, or about 80 per cent of the nation’s gas reserves.
WA expects long-term access: "The discovery of such large gas reserves has understandably given rise to expectations that Western Australians will have long-term access to large quantities of low-cost gas, providing a secure energy underwriting of industrial development in the state, particularly the ability to develop and process the state’s rich mineral resources," it says.
Premium for export: Export LNG has always been priced at a premium to domestic gas, mainly as a result of energy-short Japan being prepared to pay a premium for long-term contracts to secure its energy supplies.
Producers happy, users less so: While gas producers were happy that Mr Macfarlane was keen for them to maximise their returns, there was less enthusiasm from big domestic consumers such as alumina producer Alcoa and domestic gas retailer Alinta.
The Australian, 27/7/2006, p. 23