Australia: White paper headlines northern LNG potential

The Australian government issued the first ever White Paper that looks into the possibility of unlocking Northern territory’s potential and opportunities. 

The White Paper discusses the possibilities of opening up more gas-rich areas for domestic use and for exports of liquefied natural gas. Australia is positioned as Asia’s energy supplier of choice from a balance of sources including natural gas.

However, both onshore and offshore areas across northern Australia are largely underexplored, with good potential for further discoveries. In addition, technological advancements, such as floating LNG, and increased geographical knowledge are making known resources more viable.

“The proposed North/East Gas Interconnector being advocated by the Northern Territory government to connect with Australia’s eastern natural gas market will be an opportunity to test the gas market’s appetite to grow the industry. Such a link has the potential to contribute to a more efficient gas market through infrastructure that links markets, builds resilience and enables new gas resources to be developed,” stands in the White Paper.

LNG has rapidly become an important export for Australia and is currently Australia’s third largest export after iron ore and coal. LNG exports are projected to be 76.6 million tonnes in 2019–20, helping Australia overtake Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter. Northern Australia holds 80,3 percent of Australia’s supply by value, and Pilbara region currently produces 80 per cent of Australia’s liquid natural gas exports and it is expected to rise significantly by 2019.

The north is already home to some of the largest private infrastructure projects in Australia such as the US$54 billion Gorgon LNG project, the US$33 billion Ichthys projects and the US$29 billion Wheatstone project, stands in the paper.

The government has committed nearly $5 billion to improving the transport infrastructure that would support the gas industry.


LNG World News Staff; Image: Inpex

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