Issue date

Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd (Jemena) has paid two infringement notices totalling $135,600 and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking for alleged breaches of the National Gas Law related to the Gas Bulletin Board. 

The Gas Bulletin Board provides transparency in the wholesale gas market. Having up-to-date gas flow information facilitates trade in gas commodity and pipeline capacity. Greater transparency across wholesale gas markets informs price discovery and commercial decision-making and can ultimately lead to lower prices for consumers. 

The AER has alleged that, on multiple occasions between October 2020 and December 2022, Jemena failed to provide the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) with short and medium term capacity outlooks for the Gas Bulletin Board that accounted for the impact of scheduled maintenance on the daily capacity of its pipeline. As a result, gas market participants did not have access to accurate information on available pipeline capacity on the relevant days, which may have impacted commercial decisions.

By doing so, the AER alleges that Jemena breached the National Gas Law.

AER Board Member Mr Justin Oliver said that failing to report accurate gas capacity outlooks to AEMO can hinder both the operation of and trust in the Gas Bulletin Board.

“When facility operators don’t provide timely and accurate information about pipeline capacity it undermines the Gas Bulletin Board’s operation and market participants’ trust in its data. This impacts their trading decisions and commercial strategies, and ultimately may impact wholesale market prices.

“Gas Bulletin Board data is also used by the AER, AEMO, policy makers and market commentators. For that reason, incorrect Gas Bulletin Board information can have flow-on effects for effective gas regulation and policy making,” said Mr Oliver.

In addition to the infringement notices, the AER has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Jemena to address the conduct and minimise the risk of future contraventions. The enforceable undertaking requires the appointment of an independent expert to conduct a review of its Gas Bulletin Board systems, controls, processes and training and submit that expert’s report to the AER with Jemena’s response to each recommendation for improving compliance. The enforceable undertaking also includes admission by Jemena that it breached its obligations under the National Gas Law and National Gas Rules.

Payment of the infringement notices comes after the AER instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against four Jemena subsidiaries for separate alleged breaches of the National Gas Rules and National Gas Law, and fined EnergyAustralia and Incitec Pivot for alleged breaches of the National Gas Rules.

The AER takes its regulatory responsibilities seriously and will continue working to ensure that gas market participants submit timely and accurate information. Participant compliance with the National Gas Rules and National Gas Law helps to ensure that every aspect of the gas market is operating efficiently and effectively, to ensure consumers are better off now and in the future.

Note to Editors

Infringement notice liability

The payment of infringement notices does not constitute an admission of liability by Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd.

The AER can issue infringement notices when it believes on reasonable grounds that a person or business has contravened certain provisions of the National Gas Rules or National Gas Law.

Court enforceable undertakings 

The AER can accept a court enforceable undertaking from a regulated business or from AEMO in relation to any of our areas of responsibility under the national energy laws.

An enforceable undertaking might include commitments to undertake an audit to ensure that the business has identified the root cause of the breach and the risk of future breaches is mitigated, or could contain commitments that relate to consumer redress (for example, debt waivers).