Katnook gas restrictions ease

GAS restrictions for big industrial users in the Katnook region of southern South Australia have been relaxed this week after Origin Energy boosted production at the declining Katnook gas field by discovering more pockets of gas.

Ten big industrial users had been rationing their use by up to a third to cope with the shortfall.

But the extra gas will now ease the restrictions to between 10 and 15%, according to Origin spokesman Tony Wood.

Gas supply problems emerged in the area when it became apparent that watering problems were causing reserves to decline faster than had been anticipated, and the Katnook producers – a joint venture comprising Origin, an Origin subsidiary and an Australian Worldwide Exploration subsidiary – could no longer maintain gas supply at the required levels.

The Katnook fields supply a gas transmission network servicing over 6,000 industrial and residential customers in the Mount Gambier and Penola region, with annual demand of about three petajoules per year. This gas network is not physically connected to the major gas transmission system servicing south-east Australia.

Origin is fast-tracking the connection of these gas fields to the eastern Australian gas transmission network via the SEA Gas pipeline that transports gas from Port Campbell, Victoria to Adelaide. Origin is fast-tracking this development and it should be completed in June.