Australia’s LNG industry now a $50 billion earner

Australia’s liquified natural gas (LNG) sector is worth $50 billion as exports climbed 21 per cent in the 2019 financial year.

Advisory firm EnergyQuest’s monthly LNG report estimates that Australia exported a total of 75.1 million tonnes of LNG during the 2019 financial year.

These exports represent a total of 1111 cargoes and a 21.2 per cent increase on the 61.7 million tonnes exported during the 2018 financial year.

LNG is now Australia’s third largest export by value after iron ore and coal, with export revenue in the 2019 financial year estimated to be $50.5 billion.

Its rising export places Australia as the world’s second largest LNG exporter, falling just short of Qatar’s 77 million tonnes a year capacity.

EnergyQuest, however, anticipates that the Australian LNG production will surpass that of Qatar in the 2020 financial year.

Australia’s production could reach around 80 million tonnes a year, thanks to a full year production at INPEX’s Ichthys and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project.

Projects that contribute the most growth to the Australian LNG production are found in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, notably the Ichthys project and Chevron’s Wheatstone project.

Japan has continued to be the largest buyer of Australian LNG in the 2019 financial year, accounting for 41 per cent of the country’s exports.

China, however, is closing the gap, accounting for 37 per cent of Australia’s LNG exports, while South Korea is the third largest market with 10 per cent.

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