AN independent report has revealed New South Wales may face severe gas shortages during the 2014 winter if the proposed Narribri and Gloucester gas projects are not brought on line by 2017.

The 2013 Gas Statement of Opportunities from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) showed both Queensland and Victoria are expected to experience gas shortages between 2013 and 2019, while export demand for LNG is expected to surge.

AEMO identified recommendations to overcome the shortages, including the development of new production in New South Wales and augmentation of the NSW-Victoria Interconnect or the Eastern Gas Pipeline.

Energy Minister Chris Hartcher said the state government supported the procurement of future gas availability to avoid AEMO’s predicted shortages.

“Over 1.2 million households in NSW rely on gas for their heating and cooking needs and could be affected by shortages when existing sources from South Australia are diverted to meet export commitments and if proposed projects in NSW don’t get off the ground,” he said.

“AEMO’s ‘2013 Gas Statement of Opportunities’ outlines the shortfall in NSW by 2018 would be up to 200 terajoules a day over a seven month period.

“That equals half the average daily demand for gas in NSW, or around one third of demand on a peak winter day – potentially affecting around half a million households across the State.

“It would particularly impact upon our manufacturing industries, many of which are already struggling to meet their energy needs in a competitive environment.”

Mr Hartcher added the government was eager to see major gas projects come to fruition through key resource industry employers.

“As a State highly dependent upon imported gas – producing just 5% of our gas needs – we welcome AGL’s and Santos’ continuing commitment to and investment in the NSW market, whose projects will greatly assist NSW meet its future domestic gas needs.”

For more information about the report, click here.