On 15 December 2016, the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) announced its open consultation on Origin Energy’s licence application to retail natural gas to small gas customers (less than 1TJ per annum) in the Geraldton to Busselton area (i.e. coastal area) from July 2017. This includes residential and small business customers.
In its licence application, Origin Energy (OE) outlines its experience and presence in Australian gas markets. Its subsidiary, Origin Energy Retail Limited, retails natural gas to customers South Australia and holds additional retail authorisations in Victoria and Queensland. OE also has a number of other subsidiaries which together retail electricity and natural gas to small and large customers in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and South Australia.
OE also operates several offshore exploration permits in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific and has a portfolio of onshore gas producing facilities and is one of the largest producers of natural gas on the east coast.
The grant of a gas retail licence by the ERA is subject to the ERA being:
- satisfied that it is not contrary to the public interest; and that
- Origin has or will obtain and then retain the financial and technical resources to undertake the activities authorised by the licence.
The ERA has invited interested parties to make submissions by 13 January 2017.