Lochard's acquisition of Heytesbury gas reservoirs not opposed

The ACCC will not oppose Lochard Energy’s proposed acquisition of the Heytesbury depleted gas reservoir assets from Origin Energy.

Lochard owns and operates the underground gas storage facility at Iona, near Port Campbell, which is currently the only underground gas storage facility in Victoria.

The Heytesbury assets are depleted gas reservoirs located near the Iona facility, which may have potential for underground gas storage development. Lochard is paying Origin a nominal amount for the assets.

Relief needed for manufacturers battling high gas prices

The high cost of gas poses an imminent threat to east coast manufacturers, making them internationally uncompetitive and increasing the likelihood they will wind up or relocate their operations, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a speech to the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference in Sydney today.

Mr Sims called on gas suppliers to immediately consider how they could avoid driving manufacturers and other domestic gas users out of the market.

Investment required for lower priced gas

Gas users’ longer-term concerns about prices in the east coast gas market could be alleviated if there is timely investment in gas development and key infrastructure, according to the Gas Inquiry 2017-20 Interim Report released by the ACCC today.

Suppliers expect to produce sufficient gas in the east coast to meet the expected demand in 2019, but domestic prices remain too high for many gas users.

Gas inquiry December 2018 interim report

This is the fifth interim report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry into gas supply arrangements in Australia.