AEMO gas report forecasts short term increase driven by LNG
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) released its inaugural National Gas Forecasting Report (NGFR), which forecasts domestic gas consumption and LNG exports in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern gas markets.
The report highlights the substantial change taking place in Australia’s gas markets over the next five years. The major driver for forecasted growth is the impact of Queensland’s LNG projects as exports rise in the short term, resulting in an average annual increase of 23.0% to 2019.
“Australia’s gas markets are experiencing immense change—we’ll see LNG exports rise to more than 1,400 PJ by 2019,” said AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Matt Zema.
“However, over the long term to 2034, total gas usage is forecast to plateau once LNG exports reach full production by the end of this decade.”
Excluding the substantial increase in LNG exports, the NGFR illustrates a 5.2% decline in domestic gas consumption to 2019.
Declining annual consumption in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia is driven by reduced operation from industrial and gas-powered generation plant. Tasmania also shows an overall decline, despite a stronger growth in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Reduced operation and industrial closures drive a 3.4% average annual decline in domestic industrial gas consumption.
The NGFR also shows that gas consumption by gas-powered generation declines at an average annual rate of 16.8%, linked with minimal growth in electricity consumption and rising gas prices, before a return to positive growth after 2019.
Despite reductions in average consumption per connection, residential and commercial consumption is projected to increase by an average of 1.1% to 2019, predominantly due to population growth.