Am I the only person in Australia that thinks that the multi billion dollar deal to sell Liquified Natural Gas from the Gorgon Gas field to China, India and other is a bad thing?
With Peak Oil looming ever so near on the horizon, which the Chinese and Indians well know, it seems that all Australian energy companies want to do is make as much money as they can in the shortest time possible, without any thought of the future. That is what I thought at first until I found that Chevron own 50% and ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell own 25% each of the rest. Not an Aussie company in sight and Australia just owns the royalties to the resource, which will be substantial. This is why the Federal Government thinks they are laughing all the way to the bank. I bet they change their tune in about 10 years time when they realise what they have done! But, oh no, there will just be the normal political backstabbing and nothing will get done or be solved. Here is the reason I think that this would be one of the most idiotic deals of the decade, if not the century.
Natural gas is probably the only fuel that we have in large enough quantities that could be used to subsitute petrol/LPG/gasoline, quickly and without much fuss whilst we look at ramping up an alternate technology for transport, for instance, renewable energy. But apparently no-one who could make a difference gives a shit. The receiving countries will be fine, receiving their potential 15 million tonnes per annum of LNG in massive tankers (pictured above), while we rely on the declining reserves in the Moomba/Inaminka and Bass Straight fields for our natural gas.
After doing a bit of research the only politician who said anything negative about the deal was Australian Greens Senator, Christine Milne, who echoed the very same reason for my concerns. “These deals have been shown time and time again to have been done in a way that is very, very cheap, and in the long-term not in the best interests of the country,” she said.
“We need to have enough gas in the future as a transition fuel in an age of peak oil.”
At least someone is thinking of our future, but unfortunately the deal is done. Profit before people, isn’t it always the way? Even the CSIRO are concerned about our natural gas reserves. They state on their website;
“Australia has largely been self-sufficient in oil but local production is expected to go into decline in the near future as existing reserves are depleted faster than new ones are discovered.
At present, over 80 per cent of Australia’s oil is produced locally and a one per cent loss in self-sufficiency is expected to cost around A$100 million in imports.
Fortunately, Australia has abundant reserves of natural gas and coal which can be transformed into liquid fuels. The conversion of coal to liquid fuel produces significant amounts of greenhouse gases which must be sequestered but natural gas is a clean fuel which is readily transformed to diesel and gasoline.
However, most of the natural gas is stranded offshore and cannot be recovered economically at present without the inclusion of an offshore gas to liquids process.”
Without this transition fuel, I believe that as the old saying goes, “We will be up shit creek without a paddle in a barbed wire canoe!”
Food for thought, but not a hell of a lot of thinking going on at the top!