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Energy

Our experienced Energy legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. If you'd like to be notified when we add new energy publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Allens has been involved with some of the leading players that have helped reform Australia's energy industry. Read about some of these landmark projects and the developments that are shaping the industry's future.

Finket Review

Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel's report provides a possible blueprint for Australia's energy markets. The Finkel Review may prove to be a catalyst for energy and emissions policy positions that provide investment certainty, regulatory direction and political peace for generations.

Our experts provide industry-specific analysis on Finkel's recommendations and we will continue to update you on developments.

Take a browse through our extensive experience in the area.

Energy Publications

  • Client Update: Innovation and competitiveness agenda to benefit the resources and energy sectors

    6 November 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the industry-led growth and innovation component of its broader Economic Action Strategy reform. Industry participants in the resources and energy sectors will benefit from proposals which aim to increase competitiveness and drive economic growth in these prioritised sectors. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland report on the proposals.

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  • Focus: Victorian Government releases major energy sector statement

    3 November 2014

    The Victorian Government has issued a statement setting out its view of the state's strategic objectives for the energy sector and the Government's energy priorities. Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Partner and Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny, and Associate Monique Donato, provide an overview.

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  • Focus: Federal Government takes next step in energy review

    26 September 2014

    The Federal Government has issued a Green Paper to inform the preparation of its Energy White Paper, which is due for release by the end of 2014. Partners Paul Kenny, Government Sector Leader, and Anna Collyer, Power and Utilities Sector Leader, provide an overview.

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  • Focus: The Warburton Report

    8 September 2014

    The Expert Panel appointed by the Federal Government to review the Renewable Energy Target scheme has recommended changes to it that would severely curtail its operation. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: Significant review of WA electricity market

    3 September 2014

    The West Australian Government is looking to restructure the WA electricity market and has invited the industry to participate in a significant structural review, which will have a material impact on the Government's privatisation agenda, and the competitive and regulatory environment in which the privatisation of electricity generation or retail assets might occur. The Government has released a discussion paper that raises questions and issues for industry feedback. Partners Andrew Pascoe and Anna Collyer and Lawyer Katherine Glossop report.

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  • Focus: Queensland's new framework for the development of the deep gas and oil industry

    1 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a plan to encourage the viability of the emerging 'unconventional' deep gas and oil industry. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Managing Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland analyse the recommended changes to Queensland's onshore petroleum regulatory framework, which are aimed at reducing regulatory and commercial barriers to investment, and ensuring that the industry develops in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

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  • Focus: 'Axing the tax' - the end of the Australian carbon pricing scheme

    21 July 2014

    Federal Parliament has passed legislation to repeal the carbon pricing scheme, removing the nationwide impost on greenhouse gas emissions. Partner Grant Anderson and Associate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Japan and Australia - a new era of opportunity

    11 July 2014

    This week's historic visit to Australia by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has been widely lauded as the beginning of a new era in the relationship between the two countries. Japan Sector Leader and Partner Tim Lester and Senior Associate Penny Alexander report on the opportunities this new 'special relationship' will bring for both Australia and Japan.

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  • Focus: School chaplaincy program remains out of bounds of federal power

    26 June 2014

    In a decision that has potential implications for a raft of Federal Government programs, the High Court held that legislation, passed to authorise hundreds of government funding arrangements, is invalid insofar as it relates to the national schools chaplaincy program. The decision once again confirms that the Federal executive cannot enter into contracts or authorise spending on a subject matter that it does not have power to legislate for. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Danielle Atkin report.

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  • Focus: Introduction of the Emissions Reduction Fund Bill

    23 June 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation for the establishment of its proposed Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide businesses with opportunities to enter into contracts under which the Government pays them for undertaking carbon abatement. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report. 

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  • Focus: First step towards a Common Resources Act in Queensland

    12 June 2014

    New legislation has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament that will mark the first stage of a program that will attempt to rationalise the regulatory regime for all types of resources tenure in that state. The new legislation also introduces a number of major reforms to the land access and restricted land framework, overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure, and to the mining lease application and objection process. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge, Lawyers Andrea Moffatt and Hannah Lilley, and Law Graduate Daniel Bradford report.

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  • Focus: Greater flexibility for onshore petroleum tenure holders in Queensland

    3 June 2014

    Queensland's petroleum legislation was recently amended to provide greater flexibility to onshore petroleum tenure holders for a variety of matters, including extensions to work programs and terms of authorities to prospect, relinquishment conditions and work programs, and greater flexibility in both the reserves required for the grant of a petroleum lease and timing for commencement of production. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Andrea Moffatt report on these amendments, which have been designed to better align tenure issues with the practicalities of large-scale multi-tenement projects, but also to offer flexibility for smaller projects.

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  • Focus: Queensland retail energy reform

    27 May 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to apply the National Energy Customer Framework to the sale of electricity and gas to retail customers in Queensland, and to replace regulated electricity prices with a price monitoring regime in south east Queensland. Partner Anna Collyer and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report.

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  • Client Update: Abolition of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target

    26 May 2014

    The Victorian State Government has announced the closure of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Scheme at the end of 2015, which will remove the annual obligation of large energy retailers to surrender energy efficiency certificates, as well as the financial benefits provided by the scheme for implementing energy efficiency improvements. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Repeal of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program

    22 May 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation which, if passed, will terminate the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program and so remove the mandatory requirement for large energy using businesses to assess opportunities to improve energy efficiency and to report publicly on the outcomes of those assessments. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Negative report on floating LNG technology in WA

    19 May 2014

    A major report on the economic viability of using floating LNG technology in WA has found it has the potential to impact negatively on that State's domestic gas supply and the State Government's revenue base. Partners Tracey Greenaway and Mark McAleer and Lawyer Anne Beresford consider the key findings and implications of the report, especially for those contemplating/planning a floating LNG project in WA waters.

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  • Focus: Using 'reasonable endeavours' - the importance of internal contractual standards

    28 April 2014

    The High Court has recently highlighted the significance of internal contractual standards when interpreting an obligation to use 'reasonable endeavours'. Partner Nick Rudge and Lawyers Goran Gelic and Timothy Leschke report on this development and its implications.

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  • Focus: China's business regulatory approval reforms - further steps to market liberalisation

    1 April 2014

    The PRC Government is reforming its corporate regulatory approval processes at an unprecedented rate. The changes are aimed at facilitating private sector investment (including foreign direct investment) in order to move towards a more market-driven economy. Over the past four months, new regulations have reduced and, in certain cases, removed, corporate regulatory approval requirements for a range of business activities and investments. As part of these reforms, changes have also been made to the PRC Company Law and associated regulations. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Lawyer Shona Shang look at the key changes.

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  • Focus: Pricing and repeal of the carbon tax

    28 March 2014

    The legislation that will repeal Australia's carbon pricing scheme will also introduce some significant new prohibitions, and confer some extensive enforcement and price monitoring powers on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to ensure that the repeal of the scheme is accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the price of emissions or energy-intensive goods and services. Partners Grant Anderson and Fiona Crosbie report.

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  • Focus: Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper released

    10 January 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Green Paper on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund. Partner Grant Anderson reports on this proposed centrepiece of the Government's Direct Action Plan.

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  • Focus: New merits review regime commences

    9 January 2014

    Major changes to the merits review regime applying to regulated revenue and price determinations that the Australian Energy Regulator makes for electricity and gas networks have now come into operation. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: New traditional owner negotiation requirements for central Victoria

    1 November 2013

    The Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement has commenced operation, creating a new negotiation framework for activities on public land in central Victoria. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell explore the implications.

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  • Client Update: NSW's latest proposal to put CSG activities 'off limits' in residential areas and villages

    9 October 2013

    The New South Wales Government has released new mapping to support its growing package of measures to regulate coal seam gas activities in the State. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Michael Zissis review the implications of the Government's latest announcement.

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  • Client Update: Queensland's 30-year electricity strategy

    16 September 2013

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper outlining how it proposes to meet the challenges facing the State's electricity sector in the immediate term and over the next 30 years. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report on the Government's specific proposals and reform agenda signalled in the paper.

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  • Focus: Regulated revenue guidelines released

    10 September 2013

    The Australian Energy Regulator's recently released draft guidelines on its proposed approach to regulating electricity and gas transmission and distribution revenues indicate how it intends to exercise its expanded discretion in relation to electricity and gas transmission and distribution regulatory determinations. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Levona Lavi report.

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  • Focus: Now for the Direct Action Plan

    9 September 2013

    The Coalition's election victory means that, assuming it ultimately gains control of the Senate, or is otherwise able to garner sufficient votes from the non-Coalition parties in the Senate, the current carbon pricing scheme will soon be replaced with the Coalition's Direct Action Plan. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: National infrastructure plan revealed

    5 July 2013

    Infrastructure Australia has released a 50-year plan for national infrastructure, including an update to the national infrastructure priority list. The plan identifies key infrastructure challenges, and what needs to be done to address them in the near and long-term future. Partner Emma Warren and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report.

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  • Client Update: SCER announces reforms to limited merits review regime

    19 June 2013

    Following an independent expert panel's report, the Standing Council on Energy and Resources intends to implement a substantial range of reforms to the limited merits review regime for electricity and gas regulatory decisions. However, several of the expert panel's most significant recommendations will not be adopted. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Ben Strate report.

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  • Focus: Malaysian risk service contracts - the implications

    13 June 2013

    The offshore licensing unit of Malaysia's national oil company recently invited bids for 10 marginal fields in its third risk service contract licensing round in as many years. Partners Igor Bogdanich and Anthony Patten, and Lawyer Ainsley Reid-Willet, discuss the background to the need for such contracts, and the implications of the new contracts for oil and gas companies looking at investing in Malaysia.

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  • Focus: Queensland Government responds to Costello audit report

    9 May 2013

    The Costello Commission of Audit Report and the Queensland Government's response last week could transform the State's economy by recasting the way the Queensland public sector interacts with the private sector. Partner John Greig examines the main recommendations and the Government's response.

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  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

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  • Focus: China encourages foreign involvement in green energy

    23 April 2013

    Although still light on specifics, a policy articulating China's plans for the development of its coalbed methane reserves has signalled the PRC Government's intention to encourage foreign investment as a way of dealing with the national demand for clean energy. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Trainee Solicitor Alice Mok look at the policy's changes that are relevant to international oil and gas companies.

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  • Focus: Further regulation of coal seam gas activities in NSW

    25 February 2013

    In response to widespread community concerns regarding increasing coal seam gas activities, particularly near residential areas, the New South Wales Government has announced a package of measures to strengthen the regulation of the coal seam gas industry. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Georgina Cowdroy report.

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  • Focus: Queensland Government opens door to oil shale industry

    18 February 2013

    The Newman Government has just introduced a new oil shale policy that encourages private sector research and investment in oil shale extraction, by removing restrictions on the development of an oil shale industry. Partner Ben Zillmann and Lawyer Faheem Anwar look at the new policy.

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  • Client Update: The changing environment of uranium mining

    18 December 2012

    As longstanding bans on uranium mining are being relaxed and lifted across many Australian jurisdictions, our uranium specialists summarise the current Federal regulatory framework that controls its exploration and extraction.

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  • Focus: Review of the national access regime

    10 December 2012

    The Productivity Commission has been tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of Australia's national third party access regime, which potentially applies to all nationally significant infrastructure. As part of this process it has released an Issues Paper setting out the matters it will focus on in its review. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Senior Associate John Hedge report on the key topics raised in the paper.

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  • Focus: Senate Select Committee on Electricity prices report released

    21 November 2012

    The Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices has released its report, which lays out a series of recommendations, findings and comments in relation to rising electricity prices in Australia and the current electricity regulatory framework in the National Electricity Market. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Myanmar's new foreign investment law

    7 November 2012

    International investors have welcomed the news that Myanmar's new Foreign Investment Law has been approved and is now in force. In this article, members of our Myanmar team (Partners Marae Ciantar and Stuart Bedford, and Lawyer Mostyn Taylor) provide an overview of the new foreign investment regime and its implications for foreign investors.

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  • Focus: Changes to merits review regime recommended

    18 October 2012

    The expert panel reviewing the merits review regime for electricity and gas regulatory decisions has recommended major changes that will, if implemented, have significant implications for regulated businesses. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Ben Strate report.

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  • Focus: Significant changes proposed to native title legislation

    16 October 2012

    Significant native title reforms largely focus on further encouraging the agreement-making processes to obtain native title holders' consent for projects/developments, through changes to the 'right to negotiate' regime (including requiring parties to meet detailed 'good faith' criteria) and changes to Indigenous Land Use Agreement processes. Allens native title specialists Partners Ben Zillmann and Marshall McKenna and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell examine the proposed changes.

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  • Focus: Fortescue 'binding agreements' announcements were not misleading

    3 October 2012

    In a decision handed down yesterday, the High Court unanimously held that Fortescue Metals Group Ltd's announcements to the ASX and media in 2004 stating it had reached 'binding agreements' with Chinese State-owned entities to build infrastructure in the Pilbara were not misleading despite the 'agreements' being substantially incomplete and not being legally enforceable in Australia. Partners Richard Harris, Jeremy Low, Senior Associate Andrew Byrne and Lawyer Alice Dillon comment on the decision and its implications for listed companies and directors.

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  • Client Update: LNG supplementary assistance

    2 October 2012

    The Federal Government has made regulations for the calculation of the 'top up' assistance, in the form of free carbon units, that is to be given in respect of LNG projects. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Client Update: Renewed energy in renewable energy

    25 September 2012

    The NSW Government has released a draft renewable energy action plan, which, as it establishes the parameters for all new renewable energy investments in NSW up until 2020, has implications for all stakeholders in the NSW energy market. Partner Andrew Mansour and Senior Associate Joel Sturgeon report on the draft plan which intends to increase the use of energy generated from renewable sources in NSW by reducing investment barriers, building community support, attracting and growing renewable energy expertise, and improving energy efficiency.

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  • Client Update: Changes to reserves and resources disclosure rules

    24 September 2012

    Proposed new disclosure rules will affect the way mining and oil and gas companies report on their reserves and resources. The proposals seek to strike a balance between providing meaningful information to investors about listed entities' reserves and resources assets while managing compliance costs for listed companies. Partner Ted Hill and Lawyer Lachlan Clancy report.

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  • Client Update: Australia's EU carbon price linkage and its consequences

    29 August 2012

    The Federal Government announced yesterday that the Australian and European Union emissions trading markets will be linked from 1 July 2015 and that, to facilitate this, the Government will abandon the carbon floor price and restrict the use of Kyoto emission reduction units under the Australian scheme. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: More nations ease sanctions against Myanmar

    23 August 2012

    We recently reported on the easing of US sanctions against Myanmar. In this follow up article, we report on changes to the Australian, EU and Canadian sanctions against Myanmar. Allens Partner Anthony Patten, Linklaters Partner Satindar Dogra and Allens Law Graduate Laura Bellamy provide a brief overview of the changes to these sanctions regimes.

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  • Focus: US eases sanctions on Myanmar

    27 July 2012

    The US has recently eased its Myanmar sanctions regime to make it possible for US entities and individuals to invest in, and export financial services to, Myanmar for the first time in 15 years. In this article our Myanmar Group provides a brief overview of the changes to the US sanctions regime and anticipated further developments relating to Myanmar.

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  • Client Update: Regulated returns - arguments in the pipeline

    20 July 2012

    A recent decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal, relating to gas pipeline access arrangements, sheds light on aspects of the current regulatory approach to setting returns for infrastructure assets. Partner Jo Daniels and Senior Associate John Hedge look at the implications of the decision.

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  • Focus: Gaseous fuels and carbon pricing

    3 July 2012

    Those involved in the manufacture, importation and use of LPG, LNG or CNG should be aware of recently passed amendments that now bring emissions associated with the combustion of these fuels for non-transport uses within the coverage of the carbon pricing scheme. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Resources Land Access Regime Review - Findings released

    20 June 2012

    Yesterday, the Queensland Government released the Report of the Land Access Review Panel into the state's current land access regime that applies to the resources sector. The report reviews the current land access regime and assesses its effectiveness in achieving its original objectives. The report also contains recommendations on how the land access framework could be improved. Partner Ben Zillmann and Lawyer Giselle Kilvert consider the key findings of the panel

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