Graeme Bethune

Senior Visiting Research Fellow

Graeme Bethune is founder and Chairman of EnergyQuest, an independent Australian energy advisory firm that he founded in 2005.

EnergyQuest specialises in business intelligence and advice for companies and governments, with a focus on oil, gas, electricity, LNG, renewables, future fuels and the energy transition generally. It produces monthly, quarterly and annual reports on Australian energy. Graeme and his colleagues have also undertaken numerous consulting assignments on energy for Australian and international clients, particularly on natural gas and LNG.

From 2016 to 2022 Graeme was also Chairman of the Australian Gas Industry Trust, an organisation dedicated to gas industry research and education. The Trust is the Australian Charter Member of the International Gas Union. Graeme was a member of the IGU Executive Committee from 2017 to 2022 and the IGU Regional Coordinator for North Asia (China, Japan and Korea) and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand).

Between 1995 and 2005 Graeme held senior executive positions with Santos, one of Australia’s leading energy companies, with responsibilities for finance, business development and investor relations.

Graeme is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas.

He has a first-class honours degree in economics from Monash University and a Ph.D. from the Australian National University. He has undertaken the Executive Program at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy.

Contact

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Moreover, development of any new sources of domestic gas on the east coast is particularly challenged
by activist litigation, lack of government support in some states and recent gas price caps. This makes
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gas development to backfill existing projects. Achieving this with zero net emissions will be a challenge,
while gas from LNG may also need to be diverted to meet demand in the Northern Territory and Western
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In short, LNG buyers who are concerned about Australia quietly quitting the LNG business are right to
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quitting the LNG business. This is in the context of increasing government regulation, including the
possibility of gas intended for LNG projects being diverted into the domestic market. The federal
government has responded by reassuring major buyers that Australia will continue to be a reliable LNG
supplier.

However, there are a number of fundamental challenges for the government in living up to its promise.
First, Australian gas reserves are not being replaced, with some important legacy gas fields reaching
the end of their lives. This includes both LNG and domestic gas fields. This leads to the possibility that
shortfalls in the domestic market will have to be met by diversions from LNG projects that also face gas
supply challenges. Second, the LNG projects are significant CO2 emitters and many Australian gas
fields, including those with the potential to backfill LNG, contain significant volumes of CO2. The new
federal government has adopted more ambitious emissions reduction targets. Third, coal-fired
generation is being closed faster than it can be replaced with renewables, increasing demand for gas
in key periods such as winter and pushing up gas prices.

To meet domestic and export gas demand, more gas supply is needed and there are more than
sufficient Contingent Resources to ensure this. However, many of the identified but undeveloped gas
resources also contain varying percentages of CO2. New gas developments have to be net zero from
day one, requiring carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon offsets. In particular, CCS will need to
be developed quickly and at scale. Australia has massive CCS potential but developing it quickly and
at scale is likely to require more supportive federal and state government policies.

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by activist litigation, lack of government support in some states and recent gas price caps. This makes
it likely that gas will have to be diverted from east coast LNG projects, which themselves have their own
gas supply challenges.

In the Northern Territory and Western Australia maintaining LNG production will require significant new
gas development to backfill existing projects. Achieving this with zero net emissions will be a challenge,
while gas from LNG may also need to be diverted to meet demand in the Northern Territory and Western
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Latest Publications by Graeme Bethune