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The Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources recently published its Interim Report in relation to its proposed National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP). The purpose of the NGIP is to support a more strategic approach to gas infrastructure investment, by identifying and signalling to the market priority gas infrastructure investments for Australia’s east coast, and thereby mitigate the risk of gas shortfalls that may result from delays to the implementation of currently committed projects.
The Interim Report finds that the key to meeting peak seasonal demand and ensuring the reliability of the electricity grid is to have high volumes of gas available close to demand centres, connected by infrastructure that provides for flexible supply at short notice. The key components of an effective short term solution identified by the Interim Report are as follows:
The first full NGIP, which is intended to be released by late 2021, will expand upon the interim report to present a blueprint for the development of the east coast gas market out to 2040. It will consider the more complex investments in the development of new gas basins (such as the Gunnedah Basin (Narrabri Gas Project) and the Beetaloo Basin) and supporting infrastructure (such as gas pipelines, additional compression facilities and further LNG import terminals) required to address medium to long term challenges in the east coast gas market.
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On 18 March 2021, the Commonwealth Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, announced the opening of the $50 million Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program.
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