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LNG exports set more records

In July, Australian LNG shipments jumped to a record 5.4 MMt (81 cargoes), up from 4.9 MMt (74 cargoes) in June, reflecting higher Gorgon and North West Shelf (NWS) output and steady Queensland output.

West coast projects shipped 3.7 MMt in July (up from 3.2 MMt in June) and Queensland projects shipped 1.7 MMt, the same as in June.

At 1.4 MMt (21 cargoes) Gorgon production was just behind Australia’s largest LNG project, the NWS, which shipped 1.5 MMt (23 cargoes).

On average west coast projects operated at 108 per cent of nameplate capacity on an annualised basis but Queensland projects only operated at 81 per cent, notwithstanding APLNG averaging 110 per cent.

The volume of LNG deliveries from Australia was higher in July than June (5.1 MMt compared with 4.8 MMt).

Japan, China and Korea continue to be the dominant destinations for Australian exports, comprising 89 per cent of deliveries in July (92 per cent in June).

Exports to South Korea are growing quickly. Compared with July 2016, deliveries to Korea were up by almost 300 per cent in July 2017, with cargoes from APLNG, GLNG and Gorgon.

Deliveries to China were up 59 per cent and to Japan up 10 per cent.

On the east coast, short-term domestic gas prices continued to ease in July with falls of about $1/GJ.

Brisbane prices continue to be lower than those further south, notwithstanding continuing significant LNG production.

Average prices in July were $6.79/GJ in Brisbane, $9.76/GJ in Sydney, $8.92/GJ in Adelaide and $8.97/GJ in Victoria.

Short-term prices are well below those in July last year and February this year.

Differences between Brisbane prices and those in Sydney and Adelaide reflect transport costs.

Queensland gas imports from other states have slowed considerably. Net easterly flows along the South-West Queensland Pipeline peaked at 335 TJ/d in early January but gas has flowed westward since June at an increased rate averaging 85 TJ/d in July.

Gas production from the upstream LNG gas processing plants averaged 3,631 TJ/d in July, up from 3,570 TJ/d in June. Higher production appears to reflect higher domestic demand.

Oil linked LNG netbacks are estimated to have been above east coast short-term domestic prices in July, ranging from $0.28/GJ higher in Adelaide to $2.23/GJ in Victoria.

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