The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) latest analysis finds potential supply from existing and prospective gas projects is expected to meet forecast demand in Western Australia (WA) until the end of 2028.
Published today, the 2020 Western Australia Gas Statement of Opportunities (WA GSOO) provides an independent assessment of the WA domestic gas market over a ten-year outlook period from 2021 to 2030, an overview of gas infrastructure, and emerging issues affecting the gas industry.
“Supply is expected to exceed demand until 2026, however, we’re seeing the supply and demand balance tighten in 2027 and 2028, with potential that demand may exceed supply in the outer two years of the outlook period,” said AEMO’s Executive General Manager WA, Cameron Parrotte.
“The WA GSOO notes that there are options to alleviate the gap, including undeveloped gas fields not currently in the forecasts, that may be developed to serve the domestic gas market.”
The report forecasts an annual decline in potential gas supply of 2.8% between 2021 and 2030. This decline is in line with reserve depletion at existing production facilitates and comes as liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including Browse and Scarborough, have been delayed due to market dynamics, exacerbated by economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A positive outlook for major gas-consuming projects and commodities is forecast to lift demand at an average annual rate of 0.7%, with the mining sector alone expecting 1.6% annual growth. COVID-19 conditions have increased the appetite for WA commodities, particularly iron-ore and gold, which is expected to support domestic gas demand in the short-term to 2022.
As in prior years, the 2020 WA GSOO highlights the interdependencies between the domestic electricity and gas markets, with additional renewable energy generation expected to influence gas demand for gas powered generation (GPG).
“As the energy industry transforms, the growing linkages between Australia’s gas and electricity sectors mean that events occurring in one sector could have strong impacts on the other,” said Mr Parrotte.
“With the continued uptake of renewables and behind-the-meter solar generation, including the entry of large-scale renewable energy generation capacity in 2020, GPG in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) is expected to decline at an average annual rate of 0.4%.”
Going forward, AEMO will continue to work closely with market bodies, industry and governments to progress developments that will enable an affordable, reliable, and secure energy system for Australian energy consumers now and into the future.