The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified a potential gas supply shortfall in the eastern gas market as a result of increased domestic and export demand. In the absence of additional supply, this increased demand is expected to lead to higher prices. The Northern Territory and Western Australia have price-competitive gas available, but are not directly linked to the eastern gas pipeline network.
Providing a connected national energy market with sufficient capacity to supply domestic and foreign markets, withstand supply shocks and market forces, and sustainably contribute to Australia’s broader environmental goals will support the resilience of the national economy.
Develop infrastructure to connect northern and/or western Australian gas reserves to the eastern gas markets.
A project to construct a pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa, connecting the Northern Territory gas supply with the eastern gas market, was completed in 2018. This provides some additional supply to the eastern states, and supports economic growth in the Northern Territory.
However, it is not yet clear if this link is sufficient to address the shortfall in the eastern gas market. Additional action, including possible future capacity investment between the Northern Territory and the eastern states, or a pipeline connection to Western Australia, may be required in the future.
Proponent(s) to be identified.