Australian Gas Sector Overview

The Australian gas industry structure is highly complex. It can be either classified by gas types, operational segments, deposit basins or groups of players. It is comprised of approximately 150 gas companies currently operating in Australia and can be grouped into three main types:

  • International Majors (multinational companies such as BP, Chevron and Shell)

  • Australian Majors (domestic companies with market capitalisation of over $1 billion such as Santos, Woodside, Origin Energy, etc.. )

  • Juniors (small cap companies with little market or production share).

While the majority of gas players are junior, the industry is dominated by major companies in every segment. 

Companies are involved in many kinds of gas products including:

  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – a mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles.
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) - compressed gas for easy of exportation
  • Conventional gas – natural gas trapped in rock that is usually associated with oil
  • Coal Seam Gas (CSG) – gas created from coal peat
  • Underground Goal Gasification (UCG) - gas created from underground coal

For more information about Australian gas shares please visit our Australian Gas Stocks section.

Maps of Australian Fossil Fuel Power Stations

Operating Power Stations map

List of Proposed Power Stations
Includes: Fossil fuelled, Hydro, Biomass, Landfill gas, Wind

AS most investors will know the gas sector is undergoing huge changes that will be amplified by the increased usage of gas, to replace coal, as a response to worsening air pollution and environmental issues. The infographic below shows the absolutely massive changes that have taken place over the last 5 decades in regard to LNG. And as Australia has a central role to play in increased LNG seaborne trade this a special siginificance for Australian investors.

Click to enlarge

At Gladstone, Queensland, coal seam gas companies have invested around A$80 billion in equipment to chill gas to -160 degrees Centigrade and convert it to liquefied natural gas (LNG). This liquefied gas is then loaded onto ships and sold to overseas customers. Exports are well underway with over 80 70,000-tonne LNG cargoes loaded in 2015.

As shown in the following chart, eventually three times as much gas will be exported from Queensland in the form of LNG each year as has historically been used in all of eastern Australia.

GPG = Gas Powered Generation

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