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Gas, CSG and LNG markets and pipelines in Australia; maps of Northern, Western and Southern gas grids

Updated on May 24, 2012

Northern Australia gas grid

This map show the Northern grid; many offshore projects exist and development growth is high.
This map show the Northern grid; many offshore projects exist and development growth is high.

Heaps of gas

Australia has big gas resources: Ninety-two per cent of conventional gas is off the north-west coast of Australia in the Northern and Western areas.

Coal seam gas gas and LNG: Large coal seam gas resources exist in the major coal basins of eastern Australia. This resource has quadrupled since 2008.

LNG export demand on a sharp rise: Australian gas production is projected to grow significantly in the long term driven by LNG exports, which could potentially account for around 70 per cent of total production by 2035,

Map of Australia's Western gas grid

Western Australia has massive offshore gas resources and some exploration for coal seam gas has begun.
Western Australia has massive offshore gas resources and some exploration for coal seam gas has begun.

The Australian gas market

  1. The Australian gas market consists of three separate markets: - eastern (Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia);
  2. western (Western Australia); and
  3. northern (Northern Territory).

South East Australia gas grid

Southern Australia has demand dominated by electricity generation, but 2014 LNG export plans from Gladstone will compress most gas for export to  Japan, Korea and China. These large customers have also taken equity in the LNG projects.
Southern Australia has demand dominated by electricity generation, but 2014 LNG export plans from Gladstone will compress most gas for export to Japan, Korea and China. These large customers have also taken equity in the LNG projects.

Three markets: Northern, Western and Eastern (also called South East)

  1. western and northern markets supply both domestic and LNG export markets;
  2. eastern and western markets are both dominated by long-term contracts;
  3. gas in the eastern market is produced for the domestic market only;
  4. eastern market also has a pool-based trading market that operates alongside existing market arrangements and long-term gas contracts;
  5. eastern market has a large number of supply points and a high degree of interconnection of major demand centers via transmission pipelines;
  6. eastern market growth in domestic gas demand has been primarily driven by the need for gas for electricity generation;
  7. western market uses a smaller number of supply points and major pipelines;
  8. northern market is much smaller in comparison, and gas supplied to the domestic market is used predominantly for electricity generation.

Japan demand dominates LNG

Eastern gas market extreme coal seam gas growth got stronger with Japan nuclear disasters

Eastern Australia coal seam gas reserves have increased by more than four times 2008 levels. CSG (also known as coal bed methane/coal seam methane/coal mine methane) is methane gas occurring in coal seams.

For example the Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) project is proposing to install 10 000 wells over the life of the 30-year project, with 5000 wells in operation during any given year.

Queensland CSG reserves are located within the Walloon Coal Measures of the Surat Basin and Permian coal measures of the Bowen Basin, both part of the Great Artesian Basin.

Projects in the Gloucester Valley, Lower Hunter Valley and Wollongong Illawarra regions of New South Wales are also in the exploration and assessment stages

Two CSG-LNG projects (Curtis Island and Gladstone LNG) are under construction in Queensland with a combined export capacity of more than 16 million tonnes. APLNG, Arrow LNG and Fishermans Landing) are at various stages of planning.


Australia: politically stable and not prone to big earthquakes and lots of gas

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