Australian LNG developments trigger export growth: EnergyQuest

Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports surged in 2016 as a plethora of new projects in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland triggered a flood of new shipments to global markets, a report from EnergyQuest has revealed.

Total exports in 2016 reached 36.8 million tonnes (MT), a 37.7 per cent increase on the 26.7Mt recorded in the previous year, the report found.

EnergyQuest expects 2017 to be even stronger for the export market. In its monthly LNG report, the consultancy outlined that as the Australia Pacific LNG and Gorgon operations continue to ramp up, and new projects like Wheatstone and Ichthys come into production, Australia’s 2017 exports will be close to 60Mt, up 63 per cent on 2016.

Despite the lower oil price environment throughout much of 2016, EnergyQuest estimates that the total value of Australian LNG exports was $17.9 billion, an 8.6 per cent rise on the previous year.

Oil prices – to which LNG prices are linked – are currently about 25 per cent higher than the 2016 average. If current prices are maintained, EnergyQuest estimates that the value of Australian LNG exports will double to around $36 billion in 2017.

Australia’s newest LNG hub – the three plants around Gladstone – guided exports from Queensland to 17.5Mt in 2016, almost triple the amount from the previous year. Exports from WA were down slightly to 19.3Mt for the period.

Japan remains the largest customer for Australian LNG, taking 48 per cent of 2016 cargoes. China is now the second biggest customer, taking 30 per cent of cargoes, including 60 per cent of cargoes from Queensland.

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