Net Zero and a rush into unreliable renewables is what got Australia into this mess. Next winter ought to be fun with these people running the show!!
‘Labor Cabinet ministers have slammed the gas companies for focusing on “maximising their profits” and halting major supply contracts following the government’s landmark response to soaring power prices.
The September Heads of Agreement deal which saw the gas companies commit to diverting all additional uncontracted LNG to the domestic market could be under threat.
In a shock response to the government’s $12/gigajoule cap on gas prices, Shell has paused its deal to sell 50 petajoules of LNG to energy providers as it “assesses the impact” of the proposed reforms.
The massive gas giant’s Queensland arm, QGC, was in the middle of an extensive tender process to contract the LNG for 2023/24.
“Pausing the EOI process was not an option we wanted to take, however, QGC needs to consider whether the design of the current EOI will meet the new regulatory requirements, including the 2023 price cap and the proposed mandatory Code,” a Shell spokesperson said.
Shell has paused its tender process to sell 50 petajoules of LNG to Australian domestic market. Picture: NCA
But the government has unleashed on Shell and other gas companies threatening to withhold supply to the system.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen said while the company was focused on boosting profits, the government would “protect the Australian people”.
“Gas companies want high profits at the expense of industries at the expense of workers and industries,” Mr Bowen said on Tuesday.
“Shell is one of the most profitable companies in Australia and we don’t mind them making profits in their … gas exports, they can make as much profit as they want doing that, but Australians have a right to this gas at a fair price.
“The government will be acting in the national interest not in the interest of Shell, not in the interest of any gas company, in the interest of every Australian.”
The cost of gas has soared since the war in Ukraine, with the spot price hitting as high as $27/gigajoule compared to typical pre-pandemic prices hovering around $6/gigajoule.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen accused the gas companies of receiving high profits at the “expense of workers and industries”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
As a result of the more than 140 per cent increase in the gas price year-on-year, industry giants Woodside has seen the share price jump by 57 per cent.
Fellow competitor Origin Energy has also seen its share price soar by more than 44 per cent this year and was another signatory to the September Heads of Agreement through its part ownership Queensland-based gas company APLNG.
Industry Minister Ed Husic warned the gas companies against pulling out of the landmark supply agreement as he questioned their claims over project sustainability.
“A lot of these players have made extraordinary profits, so, when these firms are making claims about the viability of projects, this is about them trying to maintain their profits in extraordinary times,” Mr Husic told ABC Radio National.
“For (energy companies) to claim this is a shock, or to threaten the nation, effectively, by saying they’ll walk away from a heads of agreement they walked into, I think they will need to consider their steps very carefully.”
Oil and gas company Woodside Energy joined Shell in warning the government its new caps on fossil fuels would create an “environment of uncertainty” which will see investment rapidly drop.
Industry Minister Ed Husic said the gas companies needed to “consider their steps very carefully” if the continued to threaten supply. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
In a statement on Tuesday, Chief Executive Meg O’Neill said the industry’s ongoing investment was “crucial” to support the government’s renewable drive and added the government’s proposal failed to address falling supply.
“We need to unlock gas supply now. For example, Woodside has been looking at options to increase supply, including through new LNG import terminals, exploration spending and further development on the east coast,” Ms O’Neill said.
“Unfortunately, the proposed market intervention will make it very difficult for industry to economically invest to increase supply.
“No one wants to see energy shortages and gas rationing. We must develop a comprehensive, longer-term solution that addresses gas supply and reliability.”
The Albanese Government’s proposal to cap gas price, provide indirect energy bill relief and strengthen the consumer watchdog’s price monitoring capabilities will hit an emergency session of Parliament on Thursday.
In addition, Labor will also legislate a mandatory code of conduct for the gas industry which will strengthen the existing bargaining system between producers and buyers and establish a “reasonable pricing framework”.’https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/politics/industry-minister-ed-husic-accuses-gas-companies-of-threatening-the-nation-as-energy-minister-chris-bowen-slams-shell-for-pushing-huge-profits-at-australias-expense/news-story/559284e80da3cc4924125304bc284f17?net_sub_id=282058248&type=curated&position=1&overallPos=4