Manufacturers could ensure gas supply by investing in projects: Santos

Oil and gas explorer Santos has said a way for manufacturers to adapt to the predicted gas shortage would be to invest in projects.

Speaking at the Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association conference, which wrapped up yesterday, Santos suggested companies were welcome to invest in early-stage projects.

Fairfax reports that Santos’s Vice President LNG Markets and Eastern Australia Commercial, Peter Cleary, said, “Anyone in this room is welcome to invest in some of the opportunities that Santos is trying to pursue, particularly in New South Wales.

“I would love to have industry as an upstream investor in that because I think it would show a powerful message to both the New South Wales government and the community in New South Wales that it is not just for one company's benefit.”

The problem is particularly pronounced in NSW and Victoria, where there are major barrier or complete barriers to onshore gas extraction in place.

“Every inland state has gas onshore and yet we find ourselves on the east coast about to double, triple our prices, and if the reports are correct, [they] are facing a gas shortage in Sydney in 2016,” Dow Chemical’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Tony Frencham told Manufacturers’ Monthly this week.

The Australian Workers Union this week announced it would campaign for a local reservation policy of up to 20 per cent of gas.

Cleary said that lifting a ban in NSW would outweigh the effects of a reservation policy.

He conceded that investing in gas developments was expensive, but it didn’t mean it was impossible.

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