Exxon, BHP pledge new gas by ‘early 2021’ as supply crisis looms

Source: The Age

New gas could enter the east-coast market by early 2021, as a joint venture of global energy giant ExxonMobil and miner BHP will work on a large undeveloped gas reserves in Victoria’s Bass Straight.

The $550 million West Barracouta project’s announcement comes as a supply shortfall looms in the southern states. However, this project is only expected to help offset a decline in East Barracouta production rather than increase overall supply.

This comes as ExxonMobil has announced its intention to offload its 50 per cent stake in Victorian gas and oil assets, and BHP was contemplating this as it not see “material upside” in the oil fields beyond the 2020’s.

Whilst this has occurred, there has been a three-fold hike in gas prices that has closed the doors of manufacturers. As the Energy Users Association of Australia chief executive has stated, “In our view, uncertainty about future domestic supply and competition issues are still major concerns for gas users”.

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