Western Australia is a large producer of gas compared to other states. Around 90% of Australia’s estimated recoverable reserves of conventional gas are in the Carnarvon Basin on WA’s North West Shelf. These gas fields support Western Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry, as well as the major domestic gas market in the South West.
The Western Australian Government promotes long-term supplies of natural gas for WA consumers through its Domestic Gas Reservation Policy. The policy seeks commitments for the equivalent of 15% of gas available from new offshore gas developments for domestic use. The WA Government applies the policy as part of the negotiating process with export gas producers, with flexibility built in to allow for each project to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
The Western Australian retail gas market became fully contestable in 2004. This means that gas companies can compete in the marketplace for all Western Australia gas customers, including residential customers.
A number of gas trading and retail companies operate across the regional and metropolitan areas, servicing industrial and residential customers.
Gas retailers need a gas trading licence from the Economic Regulation Authority to sell gas to small use customers (residential and small business customers using less than 1 terajoule of gas a year).