A SHARPER focus on Australian gas policy has seen peak body The Australian Pipeline Industry Association change its name.

Rebadged as the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA), the organisation aims to make a new contribution to gas policy development.

Speaking at the launch of the name change, APGA president Mark Dayman said work for constructors and service providers was winding down as the development of offshore and onshore projects neared completion.

“What is interesting with the reduction of expenditure due to the oil price reduction, with a significant reduction in exploration and drilling,” he said.

“Potentially, what this means in the future is there will be even less gas which could further exacerbate the shortage of gas predicted in 2016-2017.”

The fact that many of the Australian projects would be producing gas by this time would benefit the nation, he said.

“Given the looming gas shortage, it would appear the current slowdown in business locally may be relatively short-term for Australia,” he said.

“There are plenty of gas market analysts with a wide range of views as to what the duration of the low oil price will be. However, Australia is in one of the best positions to ride this out.”

More broadly, APGA called for the publication of information regarding gas production and processing capabilities, such as that available about national daily gas flows and short-term price-setting data.

“Publication of such information would help gas market participants make better-informed decisions in this time of structural change,” the group said.

APGA would also push governments to help increase gas supply, rather than move to restructure national gas markets.