Why is Gas Good?
Gas is one of the most important fuels used in Western Australia and luckily for us, we have an abundance of Western Australian natural gas.
Of all fuel types, gas offers the best combination of abundance, cleanness, reliability and flexibility.
Plus, it’s cheaper than other fuel sources.
It’s a cleaner form of energy
A good way to improve air quality in big cities is to burn gas instead of other fuels. This is particularly important in many densely populated cities.
Most of the gas we produce offshore is exported. It’s sent to the Australian mainland via a pipe, then chilled down and converted into a liquid and shipped to Asian countries in big tankers. This process results in some greenhouse gas emissions, but nine times the amount of emissions is saved when that gas is used to generate electricity instead of using coal.
That means our Western Australian gas is having global environmental benefits.
Gradually replacing coal with gas would help reduce our emissions in Australia too. Gas produces 50-70% less emissions than coal.
Gas is more environmentally friendly to produce than coal
Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) uses relatively low amounts of water to produce gas compared to other power producers. There are also a lot less emissions (sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides etc) created during the process.
It’s reliable and flexible
Gas production doesn’t depend on the weather or the time of day. This makes it a good fuel to fill in the gaps created on cloudy or still days when wind and solar energy falls short.
Gas is also very easy to turn on and off, which helps our electricity generators provide a stable supply of electricity for Western Australia.
Gas is low risk
Extracting gas is a ‘mature technology’ which means the industry knows what it’s doing and what it will cost to get it out of the ground.
We’ve found enough gas in the Dongara area to last into the future and as a community we can have confidence in that supply. MEPAU’s gas is transported to the Perth metropolitan area for domestic and industrial use.
Western Australia’s gas is particularly good
The gas we’ve found in Western Australia is ‘conventional’ gas, so it’s easy to extract from the ground. It doesn’t require fraccing.
In some parts of the world gas is extracted from volcanic areas, and there are a lot of impurities that need to be removed before it can be used. Gas from Waitsia requires hardly any treatment before it’s used to heat the water for your shower or cook the steak on your BBQ.
We’ve found a lot of gas
MEPAU and its predecessors have been producing gas for almost 50 years from the Mid West of Western Australia, and we’ve recently found a lot of gas that nobody knew was there, a kilometre further underground from the previous gas discoveries.
Initially, the discovery seemed to be about ten years’ worth, but the extended production test has confirmed there’s actually decades’ worth of gas in the Waitsia field area.
It has made the exploration industry very excited about the potential for finding more fuel in other parts of the Perth Basin. Exploration activity in the Perth Basin has revived since the Waitsia discovery was made.
This is particularly great for Western Australia. It’s a low risk supply providing additional gas to consumers and the Western Australian government will receive royalties for as long as gas is being produced.
We’ve become better at extracting gas
Over the years the industry has become more efficient and safer at the process of extracting and producing gas. We’ve figured out better and cheaper ways of doing things, which means we can extract gas that was previously too hard to access.
This means we have plenty of gas to last us well into the future.
We’re helping create a strong economy
Producing gas right here in Western Australia has a lot of benefits.
MEPAU creates jobs both directly and indirectly, employing local people who then spend their earnings with other local businesses. This means we help to create strong rural centres when the trend is the reverse.
MEPAU pays royalties to the Western Australian government which are then used for the benefit of the whole community.
MEPAU provides energy security. It’s not something most people think about until the power goes out, then we realise how much we rely on energy for everything we do.
Oil and gas exploration has been active in the Perth Basin for more than 50 years with the first discovery at Yardarino-01 in 1964. Learn more about the history of oil and gas in the Mid West region of Western Australia.