Oil and gas ‘part of the solution’ towards net zero emissions

The Albanese Government says there won’t be any more tinkering with taxes on the offshore gas industry, as 2000 delegates attend the southern hemisphere’s biggest oil and gas conference in Adelaide.

Resources Minister Madeleine King King will tell the conference on Tuesday that changes announced in the federal budget “bring to a close” the review of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) begun by Scott Morrison when he was treasurer.

The cap on tax deductions on offshore projects in Australian waters will raise an extra $2.4 billion over the next four years, which critics say is too modest considering gas company profits have tripled.

More than 2000 delegates are in Adelaide for the largest oil and gas conference in the southern hemisphere as governments try to balance producer demands and cost of living pressures.

Gas prices are crippling local manufacturers and households but new powers will be in effect this winter to manage the risk of further east coast supply shortfalls.

King will invite members of the industry to contribute to a Future Gas Strategy that will “balance energy security with affordability and investment certainty”.

The federal government also plans to provide regulatory certainty for offshore carbon capture and storage projects, after the United States provided strong incentives for investment.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) chair Meg O’Neill said the world is urgently seeking safe, reliable and affordable energy.

She congratulated the minister for announcing the development of a “realistic” strategy that would outline the ongoing role of gas in the energy transition, including the development of new gas fields.

“The strategy will also send a strong signal to our regional partners that Australia is open for business,” O’Neill said.

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“APPEA welcomes the certainty the government’s announcement on PRRT offers and the end of the long-running process of review,” she added.

But the coalition is yet to reveal a position on the PRRT, leaving federal Labor short on support to pass the new laws as they stand.

The Greens say their vote in parliament can not be taken for granted, preferring to cripple the fossil fuel industry, and several influential crossbenchers also want a tougher tax regime.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton will have an opportunity to declare his hand when he addresses the forum on Thursday, as Labor seeks bipartisan support for the important industry.

The theme for this year’s APPEA conference is “lead, shape, innovate: accelerating to net zero”.

“This week, we double down on our message that the oil and gas industry is not a passive observer, or worse – a casualty – of the global and Australian race towards a net zero economy,” O’Neill said.

“We are part of the solution,” she said.

-with AAP

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