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The Forum > Article Comments > Jumpiní Jack Flash? Itís Ďbout gas, gas, gas! > Comments

Jumpiní Jack Flash? Itís Ďbout gas, gas, gas! : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 12/5/2017

Australia has lots of gas. Then why all the hand-wringing about an east coast gas supply shortage?

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Countries that make an effort to reduce gas dependence may get a long term advantage even if it is expensive in the short term. The US may have set a trap for itself as fracking has lowered natgas prices to less than they were a decade ago. Some US states (eg Vermont, California) have replaced nuclear plants with renewables fronted gas generation which has more emissions and will be more costly if the gas price reverts.

Everything gas does has an alternative approach. Ammonia for fertiliser can be made from electricity, air and water. In theory peaking power plants can be replaced by batteries though the price needs to come way down. Gas for low heat can be replaced by induction cooking and heat pumps while high heat can come from burning biomass. All this is simpler with a large amount of nuclear baseload.

Therefore Australia's high gas prices may be a blessing in disguise if we can learn to need it less. When high gas prices come back to the US they will be in a predicament.
Posted by Taswegian, Friday, 12 May 2017 8:31:38 AM
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Geoff - I am under the impression that much of the exported gas was sold forward long ago. I seemed to recall deals being signed when Howard was PM with some fanfare. You would expect some forward selling with projects of that size. As for gas deposits there is plenty in Aus, but the gas is owned by the governments who charge royalties not the farmers. In the US the farmers get the royalties so they welcome exploration. Here the farmers don't get much hence the opposition..
Posted by curmudgeonathome, Friday, 12 May 2017 10:41:44 AM
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Yeah, passing strange how our gas after costly compression and transport cost the Japanese just $7.00 per K, with compression and transport costs deducted. While we here pay $20.00 per K for our gas. It's our gas mined from our ground under licence and a mining lease we grant! We're selling our gas, because we've S.F.A., else to sell to earn essential export dollars.

This is what happens when you've traded your economic sovereignty for the modern day equivalent of forty pieces of silver? We might address this with a very different mindset and some economic competence at the helm no longer willing to just give away every advantage for some largely illusionary foreign defense umbrella?
The same one that stood shoulder to shoulder with our south Vietnamese allies and were forced to concede the field to a rag tag hopelessly outgunned Asian army who outmaneuvered them at virtually every turn.

Gas? We've all we need and forever and for nix, but only if we embrace green technology and build and use Aussie invented, smell free closed cycle, dual tank system bio-digestors to create endless biogas (methane).

Every Aussie family produces enough biologic waste to support this; and better use of a wasted energy resource than endless flushing into already hopelessly polluted oceans!

On top of that is the energy whose name shall not pass our lips our legislators! Thorium as nuclear energy. Thorium is fertile not fissile and therefore cannot be compressed to produce a nuclear explosion nor does is produce any weapons grade plutonium in its reaction, but will burn it up if added as problematic waste needing to be fully and finally depleted to prevent its use in nuclear fission bombs!

Now there may well soon be a international market for thorium and when that time comes our pollies will likely form a conga line in their haste to trade away our heritage. We have thousands of tons of it already concentrated as waste from sand mining!

We therefore need a new broom that sweeps out the whole rotten self serving lot.
TBC.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 12 May 2017 10:55:27 AM
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We need to unlock our own still unsold remaining energy resources, even a the risk of huge sovereign risks to the same folks charging us double for our gas/energy etc!

I have no idea why we treat these price gouging foreign speculators as (sacred cows) vastly more important than endlessly and unfairly exploited Aussie consumers?

Moreover, if we are going to need a new broom it has to be one the sweeps out the covertly compliant garbage from both houses?

Otherwise all you'll get is running interference and energy policy gridlock, like now!?

There are so many things we need to do for Australia and Australians, starting with eliminating huge government waste as massive and completely unnecessary double handed cost adding admin.

What we can no longer allow, are profit demanding middlemen who add nothing of value, just their profit demands, be they in the private sector or public sphere?

A citizen's initiated referendum could be what it takes to end this snouts to the trough routine that passes for a competitive free market and or, good inclusive representative democracy?

And the likely reason we will never ever have a comprehensive bill of irrevocable rights!?

With the add nothing but profit demands middleman outlawed the cost of living could easily be halved!

Nobody is owed a living least of all practitioners tasked with unraveling entirely counter productive man-made complexity. Better we just eliminate that complexity, adding around 7% to the average bottom line in the process.

The gig has to be up! Or should we pathetic, apathetic, captive market milch cows, just roll over and beg for a tummy rub from those who are bleeding us white, as they wax fat on price gouged profits, and it seems, with covert permission?

Don't just do something, stand there! Or better yet just keep wasting or refusing to use precious votes dummy!?
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 12 May 2017 11:30:49 AM
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Yes Tas. we can if we are actually led by folks who put our interests ahead of other considerations. Even tiny tassie supported some sand mining (rutile, Burnie) where thorium became a waste product to be disposed of. And due to the specific gravity, easily done via gravity separation. It's down there still?

Anyhow, the tried and proven walk away safe thorium technology produces useful heat, enough to create endless catalytically created hydrogen from sea water. And if we chose combine it with liquefied Co2 also extracted from seawater to make diesel alternatives and or ammonia based fertilizer. and not theoretical, but already proven technology. We open so many doors by just doing it with already tried and proven technology.

And for virtually nothing, if we use affordable, income earning mass produced modules as processing electricity generating plants to process other folks nuclear waste and extract valuable miracle cure isotopes. And very safely, while the reactor is up and running, with the inclusion of robotic arms.

Simply put, we have plenty of our own money in our two trillion dollar super fund, which can be used to leverage two trillion more for energy, fuel and affordable water projects, all of which enable huge wealth creation for us, but only if we're smarter than we've been thus far in our race to sell everything not nailed down to debt laden foreign speculators?

Why we gave away the one step process for steel production by employing a Yank, Chip Goodyear as CEO of BHP, and stood idly by as he gifted it to our American rivals.

Similarly, K Rudd gave away the also locally invented method of uranium enrichment using far more efficient and vastly less costly pulsed laser light as the method.

Perhaps we need some retrospective enabling legislation, righting wrongs, to claw back these last two as Australian invented innovation.

Just by taking a leaf from visionary Lee Kwan Yu's financial, investing in your own people and their better ideas, book. And intelligence, finally at the tiller.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Friday, 12 May 2017 5:24:50 PM
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Geoff, the short answer is, incompitent governments playing in a game where they were way out of their debth. The insulation debacle take two.

You see the gas companies came to the table offering to extract the gas and pay the governments royalties. To do this they had to meet certain abligations, which they did and they then went off and invested billions in prospecting and building infrastructure.

Now, and this is the killer, the future governments have come along and requested that these gas companies all of a sudden, after investing their billions and playing by the rules as set out, are being asked'forced to retain some of the gas for the domestic market. Shifting the goal posts.

Of cause here in QLD, one of the states with huge reserves, the then premier Anna Bligh, has moved on to the corporate world having turned us into a 'basket case' and despite the mine field she has left behind, gets to wipe her hands of the whole debacle, as do all retired pollies.

Big business requires certainty, and my tip is this back flip on gas will cause imense damage to our future mega projects moving forward, simply because the negotiators (governments) were to use a famous movie line, writing cheques their egos coundn't cash.
Posted by rehctub, Saturday, 13 May 2017 5:24:50 AM
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