The U.S. & Australia Strengthen Energy Ties

Trade and investment opportunities between the Australian and the United States' energy sectors were boosted this week with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation.

The Memorandum has been signed in Washington overnight by US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and the Secretary of Australia's Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, Mark Paterson on behalf of Industry, Tourism and Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane.

"Australia and the United States already have many common interests in the energy sector. We work collaboratively on climate change through the Climate Action Partnership, are members of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum and will work closely to develop the potential of hydrogen," said Mr. Macfarlane.

Through the International Energy Agency and APEC Working Group, Australia and the United States already work closely on multilateral and regional energy issues.

"This new arrangement significantly strengthens that partnership. It will open the door to further government-to-government and government-to-industry cooperation across a broad range of energy-related issues," he said.

The Memorandum of Understanding will promote exchanges of information on energy policies and market trends, and build on technical cooperation in energy innovation.

It will also encourage more public-private sector cooperation to advance energy technology and infrastructure development.

"There are significant opportunities for Australia's energy industries in the US, particularly as America looks to increase its capacity to import liquefied natural gas (LNG). I hope, through this MOU, we will see those business opportunities realised," said Mr. Macfarlane.