Northern Gas Pipeline Sept 2016
The interconnecting gas pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mt. Isa will be a game changer for the Australian gas market and will support the growing globalization of the LNG market.
It will support the balancing of wet gas from the west with dry gas from the east for both physical and derivative trade in Australia.
The pipeline will also be a source of ethane to supply Sydney when the Cooper basin dries up (now 75% depleted  ).
There is also the option of gas going the other way if NSW’s CSG ever begins to flow from the Sydney, Gloucester, and Gunnedah basins in a big way. There would be liquefication trains at Darwin and Gladstone, and maybe Sydney, to choose from for LNG exports.
The “coal” in the coal seams, once depleted of CSG, can be pyrolytically burnt underground to produce syngas – mixture of methane and hydrogen. A small amount of hydrogen gas, useful in renewable electricity systems, can also flow in pipelines.
A slower “bio” / “eco” option is to pump CO2 into depleted coal seams and create conditions for microbes turn it into methane.
After that the only pipeline needed for a fully pan-Australian market would be an inter-connector between Alice Springs and the Telfer Pipeline near Port Hedland, or “Canning Basin Pipeline”. Australia would then command the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins and the Japan/Korea/China markets to the north.
A pan -Australian gas market supports Australian LNG pricing as the international benchmark.
As a small amount of CO2 is allowed in pipelines, it opens up the idea of a pan -Australian physical carbon trading market that includes selective sequestration in depleted fields.
1. Australian Energy Resource Assessment 2014