Photo: Courtesy of Inpex

EnergyQuest: Australian LNG exports slip month on month

Lower liquefied natural gas production at the North West Shelf and Ichthys LNG projects, and the shorter month of February hampered Australia’s LNG exports.

EnergyQuest: Australian LNG exports slip month on month
Courtesy of Inpex

During the month of February 2021, Australian LNG shipments reached 6 million tonnes, or 88 cargoes, down from 6.7 million tonnes spread across 97 cargoes in January.

Australian energy consultancy EnergyQuest noted that the record month for LNG shipments was December 2019 when exports reached 7.1 million tonnes.

On an annualised basis, Australia’s February LNG shipments were at 78.3 mtpa, the consultancy said in its monthly report.

East coast projects shipped 1.953 Mt (29 cargoes) in February, below 2.068 Mt in January. The east coast projects operated at 98 per cent of nameplate capacity during February.

The consultancy further noted that cargo delays increased during the month of February. EnergyQuest estimates nine Australian cargoes have been delayed for more than three days awaiting final destination orders during February after two cargoes were delayed in January and nine in December.

Deliveries to major North Asian markets were significantly lower in February compared with January.

This reflects the fall in shipments in January due to disruptions at Gorgon, Wheatstone and Ichthys, and the shorter month.

Australian projects delivered a total of 83 cargoes to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in February, well down from 94 cargoes a month earlier. There were seven fewer deliveries to China, one more to Taiwan, two more to Korea and seven less to Japan compared with January.

As of 26 February, the Platts JKM LNG spot price for April was $5.72/MMBtu with continued warmer temperatures in Asia.

The Gladstone LNG producers had a production deficit in February, with total production from LNG producers 6.3 PJ less than total LNG exports. This is higher compared with January when the producers had a 2.8 PJ deficit. LNG producers had a surplus of 4.5 PJ in February 2020.

Gas production from Moomba and offshore Victoria was down by 2.5 PJ including from storage compared with January but steady compared to a year ago.