Origin gas earnings boom as pressure grows on energy sector

Booming gas prices have boosted Origin’s energy market earnings guidance to as much as $650 million, a 78 per cent increase on its full-year 2022 result.

Oct 19, 2022, updated Oct 19, 2022
Santos's Curtis Island LNG project near Gladstone

Santos's Curtis Island LNG project near Gladstone

It came as a study by the Australia Institute found that Australia’s LNG companies had earned a windfall profit of about $40 billion in 2021-22 on the back of surging global prices for energy.

Origin said the boost to its energy markets business underlying EBITDA countered an expected “suppressed” profit from electricity.

Its guidance for the Australia Pacific LNG business in Queensland was unchanged.

The research from the left-leaning Australia Institute follows claims by the consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission price-fixing behaviour by gas exporters.

The Australia Institute is pushing for a windfall profit tax on LNG exports and its executive director Richard Denniss that the gas companies were benefitting significantly from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Australian people are paying way too much for gas at home and not getting a fair share of the returns from gas we export overseas,” he said.

“A windfall profit tax would help solve the gas domestic supply and extortionate price issues by removing the incentive to export gas in preference to supplying Australian customers.”

The Federal Government was considering imposing a price signal on gas companies which would force them to direct gas to domestic markets when the price reached a certain level.

There already exists a supply signal and Industry Minister Ed Husic last week accused gas companies are “sucking up an Australian resource and selling it at phenomenal prices overseas, and they’re doing so in such a way that is putting pressure on manufacturers and households in this country”.

Federal Government forecasts showed that LNG export values were expected to hit $90 billion this financial year, up from $84 billion forecast earlier in the year and more than the $70 billion reached last financial year.

The industry has consistently pushed for more gas supply into the Australian market as a way of reducing prices.

The gas industry also said collections of corporate tax, petroleum resources rent tax (PRRT), royalties and excise were forecast to total around $13.8 billion this financial year, up from around $4.8 billion previously.




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