South Australian Gas Supply Industry
South Australia sources its natural gas at the present time from the Cooper Basin in the north east of the South Australia and also from Otway and Bass Basins in Victoria. Gas from the Santos processing plant at Moomba is transported via Epic Energy's Moomba to Adelaide transmission pipeline (MAPS) to the Adelaide metropolitan area and major regional areas.
The South East Australia Gas (SEA Gas) underground gas pipeline, a private joint venture, transports gas from Port Campbell in Victoria to Adelaide. Epic Energy also owns the transmission pipeline supplying natural gas to Mount Gambier from the Katnook & Ladbroke Grove gas fields in the southeast of the State. In June 2005, Origin Energy Retail completed the 45 km South East South Australia (SESA) transmission pipeline to enable the delivery of additional gas (produced in the Otway and Gippsland Basins in Victoria) via the SEA Gas pipeline to the existing facilities at Katnook/Ladbroke Grove.
Envestra distributes gas to consumers through its gas distribution network. In addition to the Adelaide network, Envestra owns the Riverland transmission pipeline from Angaston to Berri (which continues to Mildura in Victoria) with a spur-line to Murray Bridge. The Mount Gambier distribution network is also owned by Envestra.
Around 60 per cent of the natural gas supplied to the Adelaide metropolitan area is used for electricity generation at the Torrens Island power station, Pelican Point power station and a cogeneration power station at Osborne. The remainder is distributed through a distribution network owned by Envestra and sold to households and businesses by licensed gas retailers.
The national framework for gas market arrangements governs the wholesale and retail gas markets of eastern and southern Australia. The Australian Energy Market Operator is the gas market operator for those jurisdictions, including South Australia.
Two additional regulatory bodies have responsibilities under the national legislative scheme:
The Australian Energy Market Commission is the body responsible for making and amending the National Gas Rules, which govern access to national gas pipeline services and elements of broader natural gas markets.;
The Australian Energy Regulator performs economic regulation of covered natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines in all states and territories, except those in Western Australia, and has responsibility for consumer protection and performance monitoring of retail energy markets in those jurisdictions which have adopted the National Energy Customer Framework (NECF).
From 1 February 2013, the principal regulation of South Australia's retail energy market transferred to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). The AER is now responsible for consumer protection and performance monitoring in the electricity and gas retail market.
ESCOSA licenses gas distributors pursuant to the Gas Act 1997.
The functions of the Commission arising under the Essential Services Commission Act include monitoring and reporting on matters such as:
outcomes for South Australian consumers in terms of the price, quality and reliability of gas services ( distribution); and
regulated businesses' compliance with their regulatory obligations.
The Commission fulfills these roles in a number of ways, including through the publication of periodic and special reports, such as Annual Performance Reports and reports into specific compliance matters. The Commission considers that the provision of such information is fundamentally important for consumers and assists in understanding the nature and levels of service which have been provided to them within the regulated market, as well as the reasons for any changes in performance over time. This information is also important for regulated entities, as it assists them to understand the areas of key interest for the Commission and, in some instances, their customers.