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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Japan, Korea and Taiwan are all struggling to meet their emissions reduction targets as they work to decarbonize their energy systems. Failures to grow renewables in the power sector fast enough to meet end-of-decade emission targets mean that there will inevitably be recourse to LNG and even coal imports at higher volumes for longer. While all three countries are publicly committed to decarbonization, they are characterized by varied political approaches and energy circumstances. But important commonalities exist amongst the three. In terms of renewables, the most obvious is that while some growth is evident in solar power, wind power growth has lagged behind targets badly. Nuclear restarts in Japan remain a vexed political topic and are therefore uncertain while, on the other hand, Korea’s plans to sustain recent strong growth look reasonable given new nuclear plants under construction. Taiwan’s commitment to winding down nuclear by next year means more LNG as its growth in renewables falls short. All other things being equal we expect LNG is likely to maintain a stronger profile in the energy mix – closer to the OIES Declared Policy Scenarios (DPS) than the IEA or even some government targets. Government reality checks on energy strategy that may include relaxation of medium and long-term emissions targets, would reinforce that expectation.

[post_title] => The role of LNG in the North Asian energy transition: lagging renewables means more LNG for longer? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-role-of-lng-in-the-north-asian-energy-transition-lagging-renewables-means-more-lng-for-longer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2024-04-08 11:47:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2024-04-08 10:47:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=47173 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46251 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2023-06-13 12:37:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-06-13 11:37:45 [post_content] => One of the major investors in Australian LNG, INPEX, has recently suggested that the country is quietly 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. 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 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 Australia. In short, LNG buyers who are concerned about Australia quietly quitting the LNG business are right to be concerned. [post_title] => Is Australia quietly quitting the LNG business? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => is-australia-quietly-quitting-the-lng-business [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-06-13 12:37:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-06-13 11:37:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/?post_type=publications&p=46251 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 2 [current_post] => -1 [before_loop] => 1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47173 [post_author] => 974 [post_date] => 2024-04-05 13:36:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2024-04-05 12:36:49 [post_content] =>

Japan, Korea and Taiwan are all struggling to meet their emissions reduction targets as they work to decarbonize their energy systems. Failures to grow renewables in the power sector fast enough to meet end-of-decade emission targets mean that there will inevitably be recourse to LNG and even coal imports at higher volumes for longer. While all three countries are publicly committed to decarbonization, they are characterized by varied political approaches and energy circumstances. But important commonalities exist amongst the three. In terms of renewables, the most obvious is that while some growth is evident in solar power, wind power growth has lagged behind targets badly. Nuclear restarts in Japan remain a vexed political topic and are therefore uncertain while, on the other hand, Korea’s plans to sustain recent strong growth look reasonable given new nuclear plants under construction. Taiwan’s commitment to winding down nuclear by next year means more LNG as its growth in renewables falls short. All other things being equal we expect LNG is likely to maintain a stronger profile in the energy mix – closer to the OIES Declared Policy Scenarios (DPS) than the IEA or even some government targets. Government reality checks on energy strategy that may include relaxation of medium and long-term emissions targets, would reinforce that expectation.

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Latest Publications by Graeme Bethune