Australia’s Flourishing LNG Sector


A handout photo obtained on July 18, 2012 shows Woodside Energy Ltd's LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanker at the Karratha gas plant loading terminal in the north of Western Australia. Australia is set to enjoy explosive growth in its gas exports, with experts predicting it will overtake Qatar as the leading Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) producer within the decade. The economy which once rode on the "sheep's back" -- in the days when the major commodity was wool -- has already embraced the mineral wealth which has stoked its coffers richly thanks to strong Asian demand for coal and iron ore. The newest potential money-spinner is LNG, trade in which has expanded rapidly recently to set Australia on track to become the world's second largest exporter of the fuel, behind Qatar, by 2015, according to government forecasts. AFP PHOTO/HO/WOODSIDE ENERGY LTD -----EDITORS NOTE---- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / WOODSIDE ENERGY LTD" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

In the recent times, the maritime industry is facing higher export volumes and energy market recovery means the liquefied natural gas sector scenario in Australia is flourishing.

Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum last month said it expected production to increase once its flagship Wheatstone LNG development starts operations next year.  The company is Australia’s biggest independent oil and gas producer and its sales revenue of $988 million was up 19.8 percent from the previous quarter, but lower year-on-year by 9 percent.

Graeme Bethun, CEO, EnergyQuest said that, even from September, the amount of LNG leaving parts of Australia was up almost 10 percent.  He further added, “There was a particularly strong performance by LNG projects on the west coast”.

Higher market prices:

Due to higher market prices this year for energy, which for oil is up more than $15 per barrel from the 2016 bottom, pushed the value of LNG exports for Australia in October to almost $1.3 billion, a record.  For exports, Bethun said many projects already in service are producing more than anticipated and export volumes are close to two-year highs.

Rise in export price in recent months:

The LNG export volume increased by 6.6 percent during the months September to October. Recently a shipping vessel left its port at Sabine Pass, Los Angeles this year with its first ever cargo of LNG sourced from the United States shale abundant areas to be exported to the foreign markets.  The Asian markets are welcoming more LNG and U.S. allies in Europe could immensely benefit from the shale production in the United States with the right infrastructure in place.

Permit required:

To send LNG to countries without a U.S. free trade agreement – a situation that presents a roadblock for LNG exports to reach the European market.  To overcome this roadblock a special permit is required.

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Source: UPI