Aussies can thank Qatar for lower energy bills


As the global gas price crash proceeds everywhere but Australia, locals should take a moment to thank Qatar for stepping in where their own government is too cowardly to tread.

As we know, gas prices in Asia and Europe are about 20% lower than in Australia.

That is, for Australian gas. Say what?

This is thanks to the East Coast Gas cartel, which ships untold volumes of supercheap local gas into these markets while squeezing the Aussie market.

Albo’s cowards are, as usual, too scared or corrupt to prevent it, most notably Resources Minister Madeleine King, whose relationship with the gas cartel is more like a puppet than a regulator.


But Qatar is coming to the rescue. It is undertaking an immense gas supply expansion to ensure global prices go lower for longer. Goldman:

QatarEnergy’s announcement today (Sunday) of further LNG export capacity expansion will likely extend the bearish cycle we expect in global LNG markets for most of the second half of this decade.

The announced two 8 mtpa trains come on top of Qatar’s 48 mtpa capacity expansion currently under construction, targeted to take the country’s total LNG export capacity from 77 mtpa currently to 142 mtpa by 2030.

Combined with LNG export capacity currently under construction in the US and other regions, we expect more than 200 mtpa of added global LNG supply capacity before the end of this decade, approximately 50% of the 409 mtpa global LNG supply observed in 2023.

For context, annual Asia LNG import growth has averaged 18 mtpa for the past several years – and that’s excluding the weaker 2022 (China lock down) and 2020 (global pandemic) years.

The resulting LNG oversupply will in our view lead to increasing risks, especially from 2026, when we expect the Qatari expansion to start to come online, that global gas prices decline to supply cash costs (below ~$4.70/mmBtu or ~15 EUR/MWh), potentially leading to the cancellation of US LNG exports, much like in 2020.

While it may seem counterintuitive for Qatar to announce further export capacity expansions in a (soon to be) oversupplied market, we believe the region, which is the lowest-cost LNG supplier in the world, can benefit from increased long-term market share while conveying the image of a reliable supplier, especially in light of the recently announced pause in US LNG export project approvals.

Bravo Qatar. Such global prices will eventually seep into the Australian consciousness via the ACCC and force the local gas price lower.

Because gas sets the marginal cost of electricity, Qatar will, in turn, crash these bills for Aussies in due course.


Aussies should perhaps pause to wonder why it is that a distant and tiny Islamic tyranny cares more about their quality of life than their own government.

And how a resource superpower allowed East Coast gas exports without applying a domestic reservation policy (another corporate wrecking job by the Grattan Insitute).

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.