Gas summit fails to find 'energy crisis' fix
Source: Financial Review
The high-profile summit between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the heads of the east coast's largest gas producers has failed to produce any immediate measures to fix the east coast supply 'crisis', heightening manufacturers' fears about spiralling prices that may cost hundreds of jobs.
Gas companies will, however, face additional scrutiny, with a requirement to report publicly their pricing and supply volumes to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the next three years, a move that was welcomed by buyers.
The government also left the door open to "possible regulatory options" if there is any short-term risk to domestic gas supplies as Australia ramps up to become the world's biggest LNG exporter.
But the results omitted any prompt action to free-up more gas supplies for domestic users on the east coast, or any harsher intervention in the form of restricting LNG exports that some manufacturers were demanding to tackle prices that have more than doubled in some contracts.
"These are only relatively very small movements that will only have an impact in three to five years," said Andrew Richards, head of the Energy Users Association of Australia which represents Glencore, Woolworths and other major users.
"Companies are under extreme pressure now, and the risk is that some won't survive long enough to see the benefit of these reforms.
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