Gas market participants

From facility operators to shippers and retailers, participants in AEMO’s wholesale and retail gas markets, and gas bulletin boards, fulfil a wide variety of roles and responsibilities. These roles, and their corresponding functions and registration requirements, are codified in specific ‘registrable capacities’. 

These registrable capacities vary from market to market, but participants may operate in multiple markets and can belong to more than one category. The Gas Market Registration document provides more detailed information about each of the participant categories, and the situations in which they overlap.

Gas Bulletin Board (GBB)

The GBB is a website providing information about gas production, transmission and demand in eastern Australia, including Northern Territory and South Australia. While it is accessible by the public, only registered participants can submit GBB information.

Pipeline operators, production facility operators, storage providers and compression facility operators are required to register as GBB participants. Shippers are eligible – but not required – to register. More detail is available in the Gas Market Registration document.

Additional information

Pipeline operator

A facility operator for a BB pipeline.

Production facility operator

A facility operator for a BB production facility. 

BB storage provider

A a facility operator for a BB storage facility.

BB shipper

A person who is, or has a right to be, provided with a service by means of a BB facility including a person who: 

  • is a party to a contract with a facility operator for a BB facility under which the facility operator provides or intends to provide a service to that person by means of a BB facility; 
  • has a right under an access determination to be provided with a pipeline service by means of a BB pipeline; or 
  • a facility operator for a BB facility or any associate of a facility operator for a BB facility who uses or intends to use a service provided by means of the BB facility.

BB allocation agent 

A person who determines, in respect of a BB allocation point, the allocation of deliveries or receipts of natural gas among users of the BB allocation point.

BB transportation facility user/Capacity transaction reporting agent

A person may apply in these categories for the purposes of reporting secondary capacity trades.


WA Gas Bulletin Board (WA GBB)

Like the GBB, the WA GBB is a website that publishes data and information about gas production, transmission, storage and usage in Western Australia. It is accessible by the public; however, Facility Operators and Gas Shippers must register as WA GBB participants.

Additional information

Facility Operator

Participants who own, control or operate eligible WA GBB facilities, including transmission pipelines, gas storage facilities, production facilities and large user facilities (such as mines, manufacturers and gas-fired electricity generators), although there are some exemptions for registering as a Facility Operator.

Gas Shipper

A participant who is entitled to use a service provided by a WA GBB pipeline.

Declared Wholesale Gas Market (DWGM)

The DWGM facilitates transportation and wholesale trading of natural gas in the Victorian Declared Transmission System (DTS), which covers most of Victoria. Gas injections and withdrawals are scheduled based on bids and demand forecasts submitted by market participants, and AEMO manages physical gas flows in the DTS to meet demand and maintain system security. AEMO settles the difference between market participant injections and withdrawals at the applicable market price.

A participant registers in one or more capacities  consistent with their intended DWGM activities.

Market Participants are those who are registered in a capacity that requires or allows them to buy or sell gas.

Additional information

Market Participant – Retailer

A licensed or authorised retailer who sells gas that has been transported through the DTS to end-use customers (such as consumers or businesses).

Market Participant – Trader

A person who buys or sells gas transported through the DTS from or to other market participants or producers. They do not sell gas to end-use customers.

Market Participant – Distribution customer

An end-use gas customer connected to a Victorian distribution network that elects to buy their gas in the DWGM rather than through a retailer. 

Market Participant – Transmission customer

An end-use gas customer with facilities connected directly to the DTS that chooses to buy their gas in the DWGM rather than through a retailer.

Market Participant – Producer

The operator of a facility for the processing of natural gas for injection into the DTS, who also wishes to buy or sell gas in the DWGM.

Market Participant – Storage provider

The operator of a facility for the storage of natural gas directly withdrawn from or re-injected into the DTS, who also wishes to buy or sell gas in the DWGM.

Declared Transmission System Service Provider (DTSSP)

The service provider for the DTS pipeline system.

Interconnected transmission pipeline services provider (ITPSP)

A service provider for a transmission pipeline that connects to the DTS.

Distributor

A service provider for a distribution pipeline network that connects to the DTS.

Transmission Customer

An end-use customer with facilities connected directly to the DTS that buys its gas through a retailer.

Producer

The operator of a facility for the processing of natural gas injected into the DTS, who does not buy or sell gas in the DWGM. This means that all gas entering the DTS from the production facility must be owned by market participants.

Storage Provider

The operator of a facility for the storage of natural gas directly withdrawn from or re-injected into the DTS, who does not buy or sell gas in the DWGM. This means that all gas in the facility that has been withdrawn or re-injected into the DTS must be owned by market participants.

Short Term Trading Market (STTM)

The STTM is a market-based wholesale gas trading mechanism established at defined gas hubs in or around Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. The market uses bids, offers and forecasts submitted by participants, together with information from relevant transmission pipelines, to schedule deliveries and withdrawals at each hub.

Organisations must nominate one or both STTM registrable capacities consistent with their intended STTM hub activities.

Operators of facilities that connect directly to an STTM hub are not required to be registered participants but must provide information to AEMO under the NGR. In some cases, this will include providing ongoing capacity and allocation information.

More information about participant categories is available in the Gas Market Registration document.

Additional information

STTM shipper

A person who has a contractual right in relation to an STTM facility (a transmission pipeline, storage facility or production facility) permitting gas to be supplied from or withdrawn into that facility at a hub transfer point.

STTM user

A person who has a contractual right to use pipeline services provided by an STTM distribution system. Typically, STTM users are retailers or large consumers who hold distribution contracts with STTM distributors. Transmission customers who withdraw gas directly from a transmission pipeline at a defined hub transfer point must also register as STTM users.

Allocation agent

Allocation agents for STTM shippers who are direct contract holders with the facility operator must provide daily information to AEMO about the sub-allocation of the gas allocated to their facility service. The allocation agent can be the STTM shipper itself or another appointed agent. If no allocation agent is appointed for a facility service, AEMO performs these allocations.

STTM information providers

Operators of facilities that connect directly to an STTM hub are not registered participants, but must register information with AEMO under the NGR, and in some cases provide ongoing capacity and allocation information.

  • STTM Pipeline Operator: The operator of a transmission pipeline that delivers gas to a distribution system or transmission customer at a hub, or on which gas can flow away from the hub. 
  • STTM Production Facility Operator: The operator of a facility that produces or processes gas for injection into an STTM distribution system at a hub.
  • STTM Storage Facility Operator: The operator of a storage facility that injects gas directly into an STTM distribution system.
  • STTM Distributor: The operator of a gas distribution pipeline that delivers gas from the hub to end users.

Gas Supply Hub (GSH)

The Gas Supply Hub is an exchange for the wholesale trading of natural gas and compression services. Participants place anonymous offers (to sell) or bids (to buy) for a specified quantity at a specified price, which are automatically matched on the exchange to form transactions.

The Gas Supply Hub is a voluntary market. Organisations need only register if they wish to participate in wholesale trading on the exchange, obtain viewing rights, or participate as a reallocator.

Participants can be registered in more than one category. More information about participant categories is available in the Gas Market Registration document.

Additional information

Trading Participant (Physical Gas and Physical Capacity)

Trading participants (Physical Gas and Physical Capacity or Physical Capacity only) are authorised to place orders and form transactions through the exchange and can also be authorised to enter into reallocations. A Trading Participant is a Market Participant. A Trading Participant who has nominated to trade only Physical Capacity will only be admitted to trade Physical Capacity.

Reallocation Participant

Reallocation Participants are only authorised to enter into reallocation transactions, which are settled by AEMO. They do not have access to the exchange unless they also register as a Viewing Participant (see below). A Reallocation Participant is a Market Participant.

Viewing Participant

Viewing Participants are authorised to view anonymous orders and transactional information through the trading exchange however are not permitted to trade. A Viewing Participant is not a Market Participant.

Agent Members and Appointing Members 

An Agent Member is appointed by one or more Appointing Members to act as agent for the Appointing Members under and in connection with the Exchange Agreement. If the Agent Member is also an Agent Participant under the Auction Agreement, a corresponding application must also be made under the Auction Agreement.

Capacity Auction (Day Ahead Auction)

AEMO facilitate a day-ahead auction of contracted but un-nominated capacity, which will be conducted each day on non-exempt transportation facilities shortly after nomination cut-off time and subject to a reserve price of zero.
To be an Auction Participant a person must apply to register with AEMO and sign an Auction Agreement. The Auction Agreement (AA), is set out in an Appendix to the Capacity Transfer and Auction Procedures.

AEMO operates and manages administration of the capacity auction (and the gas trading exchange Gas Supply Hub (GSH)), which the capacity trading platform forms part of.

Additional information

Transportation Service Provider (TSP)

A transportation service provider that operates a non-exempt transmission pipeline or compression service facility (called a Part 24 facility) will need to apply to AEMO to register the Part 24 facility and to register as the facility operator of that facility. If a transmission pipeline or compression service facility does not satisfy the criteria for an automatic exemption and has not obtained a full or conditional exemption from the AER, then the TSP must register with AEMO.

Where there are multiple service providers for a non-exempt transportation facility, each TSP will be taken to be a member of a TSP group. Members of a TSP group will be required appoint one of their members (in writing) as the responsible TSP to register as the facility operator for the relevant Part 24 facility. The responsible TSP will be registered as the Part 24 facility operator and as the reporting entity for the Part 24 facility.

Facility operator

The facility operator will be the reporting entity for the Part 24 facility and will also be responsible for all the data exchanges with AEMO that are associated with the transaction support arrangements and will receive the proceeds from any auctioned capacity on their facilities.

Auction Participant

An Auction Participant is a person who participates in the Day Ahead Auction (DAA) by submitting bids for spare capacity at a Part 24 Facility. Participation in the auction is not mandatory.

A person that registers as an Auction Participant may also be a member of the Gas Supply Hub (GSH) and registered as a trading participant in the GSH (Exchange Member).  Registering as both an Auction Participant and Exchange Member enables the person to buy and sell capacity on the GSH as a trading participant and bid for capacity in the auction as an auction participant.

Auction Participants and GSH members will be registered as trading participants and typically will be a single organisation.

Appointing Participants

An Appointing Participant is an Auction Participant that has appointed an Agent Participant to act on their behalf.

Agent participant

In the capacity auction, the Agent Participant bids for auction capacity on behalf of the Appointing Participant and exercise the rights and perform the obligations for the Appointing Participant in connection with their Auction Agreement as their agent. The Auction Agreement allows for the appointment of these agents by an Appointing Participant.

In some cases, a person wanting to register and participate in the DAA may want act on behalf of other people or entities as an Agent Participant. For example:

  • A joint venture made up of several different organisations may appoint a person to act as an agent on behalf that joint venture.
  • A corporate group made up of several different related companies may appoint one company to act as an agent on behalf of some or all the companies within the group.

Under both types of appointment, the appointing participants are jointly and severally liable for the acts of the agent (which means the joint venture parties or the companies within the corporate group must manage liability between the appointing members themselves).

Important to note:

Agent arrangements in the capacity auction must be the same as the agent arrangements in the GSH:

  • If a person or entity has appointed an agent in the DAA capacity auction, then that person or entity can only participate in the GSH through the same agent.
  • If a person or entity has appointed an agent in the GSH, then that person or entity can only participate in the DAA capacity auction through the same agent.
  • An agent can only participate in the capacity auction and the GSH in its capacity as agent.

Gas retail markets

AEMO operates gas retail markets in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Greater detail about participant categories in each state is available in the Gas Market Registration document.

Additional information

Any person who participates in a regulated gas retail market of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria must register with AEMO.

For these gas retail markets, the NGR defines several roles that are similar in function.

Distributor

NSW/ACT: Network Operator
A service provider that holds, or is required to hold, a licence or authorisation to reticulate or distribute gas in NSW or the ACT

QLD: Distributor
A service provider that holds, or is required to hold, an area distribution authority in Queensland or a reticulator’s authorisation for the Tweed area of NSW Network

SA: Network Operator
A service provider that holds, or is required to hold, a gas distribution licence in SA

SA: Network Operator – Mildura Region
The service provider for the distribution network serving Mildura and its surrounds.

VIC: Distributor
The service provider for a distribution pipeline in Victoria (only if a DDS pipeline)

Retailer

NSW/ACT: Retailer
A user of NSW/ACT distribution pipeline who is a retailer or an exempt seller that is a party to a contract with a service provider for the provision of haulage services in NSW/ACT.

QLD: Retailer
A user of a QLD or Tweed distribution pipeline who is a retailer or is an exempt seller that is a party to a contract with a service provider that participates in the Queensland retail gas market with the registrable capacity of distributor.

SA: Retailer
A user of an SA or Mildura distribution pipeline who is a retailer or is an exempt seller that is a party to a contract with a service provider for the provision of haulage services in SA.

VIC: Market Participant – Retailer
A user of a DDS or a user of a distribution pipeline in Victoria that doesn’t form part of a DDS or a user of the Albury distribution system who is a retailer or exempt seller.

Self-Contracting User

NSW/ACT: Self-Contracting Use
A user of an NSW/ACT distribution pipeline who is an end user or is an exempt seller that is only selling gas to a related business in NSW/ACT.

QLD: Self-Contracting Use
A user of a QLD or Tweed distribution pipeline that is an end-user or is an exempt seller that is only selling gas to a related business in QLD.

SA: Self-Contracting Use
A user of an SA or Mildura distribution pipeline who is an end-user or is an exempt seller that is only selling gas to a related business in SA.

VIC: Market Participant – Other
Any other user of the DTS or any other transmission pipeline in Victoria. This may include self-contracting users. A market participant (other) must also be registered in the DWGM.

Transmission Service Provider

SA: Transmission System Operator
A service provider for a transmission pipeline in South Australia.

VIC: Transmission System Service Provider
The service provider for the Declared Transmission System or another transmission pipeline in Victoria.

Other Market Participants

SA: Shipper
A user of a pipeline that connects to a SA or Mildura distribution pipeline, and uses that service to deliver gas to a user or self-contracting user at a gate point.

VIC: Market Participant – Other
Any other user of the DTS or any other transmission pipeline in Victoria. This may include self-contracting users.

AEMO operates the only approved Retail Market Scheme in Western Australia. The Western Australia gas retail market primarily involves the following participants.

Retail Market Operator

AEMO is the Retail Market Operator for certain WA gas distribution networks. AEMO's role is to administer the business processes between the gas retail market participants to allow Users to cost effectively compete to supply gas to end-use customers

Pipeline Operators

Pipeline Operators own and operate the high pressure transmission pipelines that transport gas from the producers to the distribution networks.

Network Operator

Network Operators own and operate the lower pressure distribution systems that transport gas from transmission pipelines to end-use customers within their network. They are responsible for installing and reading meters, provision of energy data to AEMO and Users, and confirming meter identification and address information for the customer transfer purposes.

Users (Retailers)

A User is an entity that has a haulage contract for the transport of gas through a sub-network.  A User procures gas from gas producers, arrange for the gas to be transported through the transmission pipelines and distribution networks, and sell it to end-use customers.Users are responsible for the customer relationship, including customer billing and transfers.

Customers

Most gas customers are connected to gas distribution networks and may purchase gas from their retailer (User) of choice. Large gas customers may choose to participate directly in the gas retail market – these customers are called “Self-Contracting Users” and must register with AEMO to participate in the market.  SelfContracting Users are responsible for sourcing their gas from producers, and making commercial arrangements for transport of the gas through the transmission pipelines and distribution networks to their premises.

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