| SYDNEY, March 15
SYDNEY, March 15 Australia's top gas producers,
led by ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell,
are set to come under fire to supply more gas to the local
market and curb soaring prices in crisis talks on Wednesday with
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The meeting comes days after Australia's energy market
operator warned the country faces a gas crunch from 2019 that
could trigger supply cuts to industry or power outages for lack
of gas for generation.
This is happening even as the country is on track to become
the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas.
"What I'm seeking to do is to ensure we have action from the
gas companies," Turnbull told reporters in Canberra.
"I can say that the gas companies, I have no doubt, are very
well aware they operate with the benefit of a social licence
from the Australian people. And they cannot expect to
maintain that if, while billions of dollars of gas are being
exported, Australians are left short."
Manufacturers who need gas have long complained they faced
tight supplies and soaring prices as producers have been focused
on supplying gas to the LNG plants that have locked in 20-year
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by James Dalgleish)