The energy sector is one of Australia’s most important. It employs a large number of workers, who fill roles ranging from Australia Well Control to positions that demand IADC wellsharp. In recent years, the energy market has become notoriously volatile and the government is looking at ways to strengthen its governing framework. One option that has been floated as a possible solution is the expansion of the national energy market to include the Northern Territory.
Could the Northern Territory’s gas industry be South Australia’s saviour?
But what will this mean for workers with oil and gas training? Depending on who you listen to, it could be a major move towards strengthening jobs in the industry.
South Australia on the brink of crisis
If you haven’t heard by now South Australia is currently close to a major energy crisis.
According to the Conversation, the cost of energy has risen from $80 to a whopping $321 per megawatt an hour. While a number of reasons have been circulating around, from the increasing reliance on wind power to faulty generators, these are just rumours. Instead, it would seem that winter prices, increasing cost of gas and a reliance on older plants are all contributing to the looming crisis in the south.
With demand not looking to ease anytime soon, something has to be done to ensure that consumers are not losing out. Could new projects be on the horizon for those with oil and gas qualifications?
Northern Territory offering a way out
The crisis has triggered a number of state and territory leaders offering their support to South Australia. The Northern Territory for example believes that a second gas pipeline could release pressure on South Australia’s energy market.
Speaking in July, Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the lack of energy could impact the southern state’s heavy industry and thus Australian jobs.
“The disaster that struck South Australia this week transcends party politics and state or territory borders,” Mr Giles said. “The nation can’t afford to see heavy industry shut down because of crippling power prices and uncertainty over supply.”
“We have abundant onshore gas reserves that can be used to generate low-emissions, low-cost electricity for the rest of Australia,” he said. “The construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline will assist with meeting some of the demand.”
With the Northern Territory’s large gas reserves, South Australia has a strong neighbour to rely on.
Connecting the Northern Territory to the national energy market
Alongside the argument for a new pipeline, the Northern Territory is also advocating to be connected to the national energy market. Chief Minister Adam Giles believes that this move could be a major drive of stability across the country.
“A national energy summit should also consider connecting the Northern Territory to the national electricity grid and the possible construction of a second gas pipeline from Central Australia to Moomba,” he said. “These can both be achieved under the Commonwealth’s agenda to develop Northern Australia.”
The minister was also vocal about the role renewables played in the crisis. He believes that by rushing headlong into the renewables sector, South Australia risked losing a stable feed of power to the state’s industry.
“Independent modelling has shown it would increase power prices in the Territory by upwards of 400 per cent,” he said. “It’s now been shown that curtailing onshore gas exploration and production would worsen the critical shortage of gas in the eastern states.”
With the increasingly vocal Northern Territory highlighting the need for greater investment in natural gas, the Australian government could take on board the recommendations. For those with oil and gas qualifications, it is essential to make sure you have the right safety training. Contact an expert at Harness today to find out more.