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The ribbon cuter premier doesn't get it.

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Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Tourism

Premier Alan Carpenter, who has ignored the problems associated with having just one gas pipeline and is now facing a gas crisis, clearly doesn't understand how to fix the problem.

Federal Shadow Resources and Energy Minister David Johnston said Mr Carpenter distinguished himself as a Minister for Energy and State Development before he became Premier by specialising in 'cutting ribbons' and nothing else.

''Last night he demonstrated how little he understands the gas industry when he said that it was not possible to store large reserves of gas in near-empty gas fields,'' Senator Johnston said

Senator Johnston said the Premier is just plain wrong and that large reserves can easily be stored in the near-exhausted gas fields at Woodada and Dongara, north of Perth, which should be set aside for such a purpose immediately.

''It is a common strategy in the USA and Europe to create gas reserves and in our case a reserve could keep the Western Australian market supplied for at least 12 months, possibly two years, if supply from the north was cut off completely - a not impossible event considering the age of the platforms and cyclone activity,'' Senator Johnston said.

The combined Woodada and Dongara fields can hold the equivalent of nine months worth of exports from the North West Shelf with a storage capacity of 570 billion cubic feet.

These fields are very large by world standards and can be replenished by gas straight out of the pipeline to re-pressurise the old reservoirs.

''If the Premier was on top of this issue he would know that his State Government has old studies on its files to do just that,'' Senator Johnston said.