Photo: Courtesy of Woodside

EnergyQuest: Australian nine-month LNG exports up

Australian LNG exports in the first nine months of the year have still edged up in 2020, despite the COVID-19 effects.

EnergyQuest: Australian nine-month LNG exports up
Courtesy of Woodside

Energy consultancy EnergyQuest noted that Australia exported a total of 57.7 Mt of LNG in the first nine months of the year, slightly more than the 57.4 Mt exported in the same period in 2019.

In its monthly report, the consultancy said that shipments in the six months from April, when the COVID-19 began, were 3.8 per cent down. Australian LNG exports for the period reached 37.9 Mt.

The pandemic and flat LNG market has clearly had some impact on LNG exports. While total Chinese LNG demand has grown, demand from Japan and Korea is down.

In a total context though a decline of 3.8 per cent is modest given the impact of COVID-19 on importing countries and the complexities of LNG production and shipping during a pandemic, the report says.

Australian LNG shipments in September were lower compared with August, primarily due to decreased production at the North West Shelf and Gorgon projects.

The main impact of the virus and fall in oil prices is on revenues. LNG revenues in August (the latest data) were $2.1 billion, well down from $4.4 billion reached in March prior to the drop in oil prices.

In the eight months to August this year, total revenue was $27.4 billion, down $5.1 Billion or 15.7 per cent from 2019, the report shows.

Deliveries to major North Asian markets were higher in September compared with September 2019.

Australian projects delivered a total of 84 cargoes to China, Japan and Korea in September, up from 82 cargoes a year earlier.

LNG spot cargo prices are continuing to increase with cargoes for November delivery reported at US$4.50-5.00/MMBtu (A$6.68/GJ), significantly higher than Queensland short-term domestic gas prices in September which averaged A$4.46/GJ at Wallumbilla and A$5.05/GJ in Brisbane.