The renewal of Curtis Island LNG operations is being considered so that three companies can continue their production, storage and export for another five years.
The Australian Competition and Consumers Commission, ACCC, is considering a proposal for discussion and coordinating the maintenance schedules, maintenance providers and maintenance techniques of the Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd, Gladstone LNG and Queensland Curtis LNG projects.
The re-approval would prevent producers from trading beneficially in the gas markets as everyone would know when one Maintenance will take place as operators must comply with ACCC terms.
The Curtis Island plant operators that convert natural gas to LNG are connected to gas wells in the Surat and Bowen basins and also buy gas in the wholesale markets.
The three companies that can redirect their gas offline to the wholesale market are using so large volumes that they have a significant impact down to the market price when their assets are offline.
It is proposed to re-authorize the ACCC’s 2016 disclosure of the maintenance plan to ensure that companies do not have an information advantage.
» By coordinating the maintenance work performed at these facilities, the likelihood of major disruptions in the domestic gas markets that can arise when multiple maintenance events result in more than one asset being taken offline at the same time will reduce the likelihood of major disruptions in the domestic gas markets, « said Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC.
« The condition allows all market participants to know when maintenance will take place and to ensure that they are not exposed to unnecessary risk. »
The ACCC said in its motion that the companies had suggested that the disclosure condition for the maintenance plan is not required as soon as a new national gas law has been introduced.
The transparency measures are expected to be implemented during the five-year re-approval period and require LNG manufacturers to provide detailed information, including forecast maintenance events over the next 12 months.
A coordination of LNG manufacturers on maintenance plans that last longer than 12 months in the future, but would not be reported under national gas law and this could adversely affect other market participants.
« At this point in time, we believe that all information exchanged between manufacturers is should be disclosed to the rest of the market, including information pertaining to activities after 12 months, « said Sims.
» We believe it is important that the existing reporting requirement continues to apply even after LNG manufacturers are expected to do so Changes to national gas law may be required to address some of these r information to report. «
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