Importing natural gas from Australia another step closer

A new investigation into how imported LNG might be needed to keep the lights on is disappointing but unsurprising, according to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

The Gas Industry Company (GIC) has requested proposals for a study into the practicalities of importing LNG to fill gaps in our energy system, as part of a wider study into gas market settings requested by the Minister of Energy and Resources.

"Importing natural gas from Australia in the form of LNG would be crazy when we have our own local resources here," says PEPANZ chief executive John Carnegie.

"More than likely it would mean higher energy prices for consumers and higher emissions from shipping the LNG here.

"It means we’d be funding the Australian economic recovery instead of generating the jobs and royalties here in New Zealand.

"If we’re going to keep using natural gas until at least 2050 as the Climate Change Commission acknowledges, surely it’s better to produce it locally.

"The industry wants to partner with Government to enable more local exploration and production.

"We need natural gas to power our homes and businesses, as there are no affordable or reliable alternative sources likely to be ready for some time.

"Local natural gas producers are investing in their assets to enhance supply in the short and medium term, but beyond that we need new exploration and the right conditions to encourage investment.

"This is increasingly urgent given the area available for offshore exploration has now shrunk by 80% over the last three years."