The ACCC and Gas Market Reform Group (GMRG) have today released a joint paper on measures to improve the transparency of the east coast gas market.

The joint paper follows an announcement by the then Prime Minister in March 2017 for the ACCC and GMRG to work together to advise on options to quickly improve transparency across the gas supply chain.

In keeping with the Prime Minister’s announcement, the ACCC and GMRG have worked together to identify the information deficiencies in the east coast gas market and the measures that could be taken to address these.

The east coast gas market has historically operated in a relatively opaque manner, with bilateral and confidential transactions between market participants resulting in limited publicly available information and considerable information asymmetry.

While some steps have recently been taken to address this issue, the joint paper shows that the level of transparency in the east coast gas market is poor relative to other developed countries and that there remain a significant number of information gaps and asymmetries.

These information deficiencies are adversely affecting the efficient operation of the market, and the efficiency with which gas, infrastructure services and other resources are allocated. The effect of these deficiencies on the market are even more acute at present, given current market conditions.

The joint paper sets out 18 recommendations to improve the transparency and quality of information on:

  • reserves and resources, contracted reserves and other indicators of upstream activities
  • infrastructure availability and developments
  • wholesale gas prices, retail gas prices and the prices payable for infrastructure services (i.e. pipeline, compression and storage services)
  • LNG shipments and prices.

If implemented, these measures will improve the functioning of the gas market by ensuring that market participants have ready access to information they require to make informed decisions about gas consumption, production, transportation, investment and risk management in the short and long run.

The full recommendations paper can be found at: Transparency recommendations