West-East Gas Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

The West-East Gas Pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline.[1]


The pipeline would run from northwest Western Australia to the Moomba gas hub in Moomba, South Australia. One of multiple proposed routes is shown below.[2]

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Project details

  • Parent company:
  • Capacity: 554.82 million cubic feet per day / 650 terajoules per day[3]
  • Length: between 2,530 and 3,185 kilometers, depending on route selection[3][2]
  • Status: Proposed
  • Cost: AU$6 billion[4]


The West-East Gas Pipeline was first proposed in the 1970s by Federal Energy Minister R.F.X. Connor, who opposed exporting North West Shelf gas as LNG and wanted to supply it to Australia’s domestic market.[1] In Western Australia, environmental groups have raised concerns that a December 2017 decision to cancel an agreement for two gas projects was made as part of a plan to instead build the West-East Gas Pipeline.[5]

Alternate routes for the West-East pipeline. Source: Acil Allen.

ACIL-Allen, working in partnership with engineering firm GHD, was contracted in late 2017 by the federal government to carry out a pre-feasibility study on the West-East Gas Pipeline. The study is due to be completed by March. This is the first time a pre-feasibility study will be carried out for the potential pipeline, confirming the concerns of local environmental groups. Despite this development, the future remains in doubt as other gas supply plans challenge its construction.[6] Completed in March 2018, the ACIL-Allen report recommended a 2900-kilometer route from Karratha to Moomba.[3] The report found that the project was not feasible unless it was "supplied by cheap gas that WA consumers are barred from buying."[3] Acting Federal Energy Minister Matt Canavan responded that the study showed that the West-East Pipeline was not the "most economical model" for increasing gas supplies to southeast Australia.[3]

In June 2020, Jemena proposed the Port Kembla to EGP Gas Pipeline as a shorter, cheaper way to deliver gas to eastern Australia.[7] Despite a lack of progress on the West-East Gas Pipeline since 2018, it was included in a May 2020 report on projects the government hoped could stimulate the economy after the crash caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[8]

Western Australia ban on exporting gas to eastern Australia

In August 2020, the government of Western Australia imposed a ban on exporting natural gas to eastern Australia, and advocates of the West-East Gas Pipeline said this would effectively cancel the project.[9]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Australian government resurrects west-east gas pipeline concept, Oil & Gas Journal, Apr. 21, 2017, accessed Aug. 9 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 ACIL ALLEN CONSULTING (March 22, 2018). "WEST–EAST PIPELINE PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY" (PDF). Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Peter Milne, West-east gas pipe dream fails to add up, The West, Jan. 16, 2019, accessed Aug. 10, 2021.
  4. Angela Macdonald-Smith, $6b trans-Australia gas pipeline gets fresh legs, The Australian Financial Review, May 19, 2020, accessed Aug. 10, 2021.
  5. 'East-to-west' gas pipeline could be on the cards for WA's north, WAtoday, Dec. 9, 2017
  6. WA to east coast gas pipeline takes leap forward, Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 30, 2017, accessed Aug. 9, 2021.
  7. Mark Ludlow, Imported gas is cheaper than WA pipeline, says Jemena boss, Australian Financial Review, Jun. 11, 2020, accessed Aug. 9, 2021.
  8. Emma Young, West-east pipeline back on agenda as government looks to gas to save Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, May 21, 2020, accessed Aug. 9, 2021.
  9. Daniel Mercer, Colin Barnett attacks WA's updated domestic gas policy, saying it is 'un-Australian', ABC News, Aug. 21, 2020, accessed Aug. 9, 2021.

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External resources

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