EnergyQuest: Australia Ramps Up Its LNG Exports

Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are expected to grow by 22.6% in the current 2017-2018 financial year (FY18) on the back of a robust performance seen in the 12 months ended June 30.

The country broke the 50 million tonnes (Mt) barrier for the first time in the full 2016-2017 financial year (FY17), exporting a total of 51.4 Mt of LNG, energy consultancy EnergyQuest said in its monthly LNG report for June. The export performance is more than 37% stronger than the FY16 total of 37.5 Mt exported.

The consultancy expects this volume to be outperformed in the current fiscal year, growing to 63 Mt by June 30, 2018.

Additionally, EnergyQuest estimates the sales value of the FY17 LNG exports at USD 22.3 billion compared to USD 16.6 billion for the previous year.

The June report found that Australia continues to more than hold its own in key North Asian markets against Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, and rapidly rising exports from the United States.

“Over FY17, production increased from almost every Australian LNG project and both Western Australia and Queensland boosted their State outputs to higher levels,” Graeme Bethune, EnergyQuest CEO, said.

“With rising Australian LNG export volumes, we are seeing the sector’s total export revenue increasing quickly, including record monthly levels towards year’s close,” Bethune added.

The country’s LNG export output is set to rise further over coming months with Gorgon shipments out of Western Australia now accelerating, WA’s Wheatstone plant expected to commence LNG production next month with first exports in September this year, and Darwin’s Ichthys project due to start production in 2018.

On the international sales front, Japan, China and Korea continue to be the dominant destinations for Australian exports, comprising 91% of deliveries in June. Australia continues to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China and the second-largest to Korea after Qatar.