THE IMPACT of changing east coast gas market dynamics on Australia’s pipeline sector was a key talking point when the nation’s gas transmission industry convened in Melbourne for the Australian Pipeline Industry Association’s (APIA) annual conference and exhibition.

The event, held from 18-21 October, drew more than 700 people from Australia and abroad involved in the pipeline industry.

The exhibition reached capacity with 135 stands at the exhibition, while the many dinners provided a great networking opportunity for attendees.

Pipeline operations issues, safety, future opportunities and pipeline corridors were some of the conference themes addressed from top players in the industry, including gas transmission pipeline company APA Group.

The annual APIA convention and exhibition is the only annual forum in Australia for the nation’s multi-billion dollar pipeline industry.

The convention offered an opportunity for the pipeline industry to contemplate gas supply issues and what could be done to accelerate the development of Australia’s abundant gas reserves.

APIA chief executive Cheryl Cartwright said the Federal Government’s recently released Energy Green Paper recognised the issues for the gas industry but did not propose quick responses.

“The Victorian Government’s Energy Statement ignores gas supply issues completely,” she said.

“In an environment where there are no easy solutions, we seem to be failing to implement any solutions at all,” she said.

“APIA calls for measures to improve competition in gas supply, with the introduction of new gas suppliers focussed on the domestic gas market being best able to increase the supply of gas to local users.

“Pipeline owners and operators recognise we can develop new and innovative services to help gas users manage the increased risk and decreased security of supply they are currently experiencing,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Cartwright said future LNG exports from Gladstone would introduce massive new demand in Australia’s gas markets and were already pushing up prices.

“These factors are expected to shift traditional usage and flow patterns,” she said.