The Australian Energy Market Commission released the Stage 2 Final Report for the East Coast Wholesale Gas Market and Pipeline Frameworks Review on 28 July 2016. The AEMC had been directed by the COAG Energy Council to review the design, function and roles of facilitated gas markets and gas transportation arrangements on the east coast of Australia.
In the Final Report, the Commission recommended a package of 15 key reforms to improve the efficiency of gas trading and access to pipeline transportation, forming a roadmap for the future development of the market.
At its December 2014 meeting, the COAG Energy Council released its Vision for the Australian gas market, and asked the AEMC to review the role and objectives of the facilitated gas markets currently in operation in eastern Australia. The AEMC review was also to set out a road map for the continued development of the markets in order to meet the Council’s Vision.
The Terms of Reference for this review required the AEMC to consider:
the appropriate structure, type and number of facilitated markets on the east coast, including options to enhance transparency and price discovery, and reduce barriers to entry;
opportunities to improve effective risk management, including through liquid and competitive wholesale spot and forward markets which provide tools to price and hedge risk; and
changes to strengthen signals and incentives for efficient access to, use of and investment in pipeline capacity.
The Terms of Reference also asked the AEMC to develop specific actions that can be implemented to strengthen the structure and competitiveness of the east coast gas market, and make recommendations for immediate implementation, where possible.
The review was conducted over two stages:
Stage 1 outlined the overall direction for east coast market development. The report included a fact base of current market outcomes and a gap analysis between the Energy Council’s Vision and the existing market design. The AEMC released the Stage 1 Final Report after having provided it to the Energy Council prior to its 23 July 2015 meeting.
Stage 2 more fully developed medium and long term adjustments. The AEMC published the Stage 2 Draft Report on 4 December 2015, and submitted the Stage 2 Final Report to the COAG Energy Council on 23 May 2016.
The COAG Energy Council, at the request of the Victorian Government, also asked the AEMC to undertake a detailed review of the pipeline capacity, investment, planning and risk management mechanisms in the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market (DWGM). The AEMC received the Terms of Reference for this review on 4 March.
The Stage 1 Draft and Final Reports for the East Coast Wholesale Gas Market and Pipeline Frameworks Review incorporate the initial phase of analysis for the Victorian DWGM Review.
As of July 2015, the Review of the DWGM formally commenced a separate workstream.
For more information on the Review of the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market, see the project page.
Information and Bulletin Board workstream
As part of Stage 2 of the review, the Commission undertook a substantial amount of detailed work to underpin its recommendations relating to information provision and the Gas Bulletin Board. Consequently, concurrent with the release of the Stage 2 Final Report, the Commission also published a supplementary report on information provision, which explains the Commission’s recommendations and reasoning in this area in greater depth.