Rule Change: Completed
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC or Commission) has made a rule, which is a more preferable rule, on the National Gas Bulletin Board Capacity Outlooks rule change request.
The amendment to the National Gas Rules (NGR) increases the level of short- and medium-term capacity outlook information that is required to be published on the National Gas Bulletin Board (Bulletin Board) by gas pipeline operators, production facility operators and storage providers (collectively termed, “facility operators”).
The Commission is satisfied that the more preferable rule is in the long-term interests of consumers, and will assist energy market participants in making efficient use and investment decisions that maximise the value of trade across their gas and electricity portfolios. These provisions will be effective from 8 January 2015, with the additional information being provided from that time.
The key features of the rule as made are that it:
- increases the existing short-term capacity outlook from three days to seven days;
- implements a new medium-term capacity outlook, utilising existing maintenance reports that are created and provided by facility operators to their shippers; and
- allows market participants to better manage any confidentiality or commercial-in-confidence concerns that may be associated with increased information provision to the Bulletin Board.
This rule change will mean that all affected parties will have access to the same information in a similar time frame, and that sufficient short-term information is available to inform bids and offers in the gas wholesale markets.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) submitted a rule change request to the AEMC on 18 November 2013, which sought amendments to Part 18 of the NGR (which relates to the Bulletin Board) relating to information disclosure of short- and medium-term information on the Bulletin Board. AEMO considered that as public information on future capacities on Bulletin Board facilities is limited to a three-day capacity outlook, gas wholesale market participants have limited information on which to base their market bids and offers. Further, AEMO noted that this situation is further exacerbated since there is no public information on capacity reductions in the medium term, despite this information being routinely provided to shippers at individual facilities.
On 6 March 2014, the AEMC published AEMO’s rule change request and the AEMC’s consultation paper to facilitate stakeholder feedback.
The AEMC proposed to assess the rule change as a non-controversial rule under an expedited rule making process, subject to the receipt of any written objections from stakeholders.
Although the Commission considered this rule change request to be non-controversial, it was also of the view that the rule change request raised issues of sufficient complexity to make it necessary for the standard period of time for the expedited process to be extended by two weeks.
One stakeholder objection was received to the rule change request being considered as a non-controversial rule change by the due date of 20 March 2014. In accordance with section 303(4) of the National Gas Law, the Commission considered this objection, and determined it to be lacking in substance. Therefore, this rule change request continued to be assessed as a non-controversial rule under the expedited rule making process.
Submissions on the AEMC’s consultation paper closed on 3 April 2014. Eight submissions were received, which are available on the AEMC’s website.