Shell overtakes Woodside as Australia’s largest LNG producer

NorthWest SeaEagle LNG tanker (Image courtesy of Shell)

LNG giant Shell became Australia’s largest producer of the chilled fuel last year through its interests in the nation’s three largest projects, according to a monthly report by energy analyst, EnergyQuest.

Shell’s equity share of LNG production in the NWS, QCLNG and the Gorgon project jumped by 232 percent from 2.5 million mt in 2015 to 8.6 million mt in 2016, surpassing Australian LNG player Woodside despite the latter’s own strong growth in LNG in the latest year, EnergyQuest said in its quarterly report.

In the fourth quarter, Shell’s dominance in LNG was such that it also emerged as Australia’s largest gas producer and largest petroleum producer. Both titles were previously held by Woodside, it added.

Shell’s total petroleum production in the fourth quarter rose by 195.8 percent on quarter to 27.0 MMboe, while Woodside production fell 4.3 percent to 24.8 MMboe.

“Shell’s leadership will be extended in 2017 as Gorgon ramps up and Prelude comes into production. Wheatstone LNG will close the gap only slightly for Woodside and will not put Chevron in a position to challenge Shell’s lead,” the report said.

LNG export revenue hits record high

Australia’s export revenue from LNG is starting to grow quickly as production continues to rise and prices recover.

Revenue for the 2016 calendar year was a record $17.9 billion, up 9.1 percent year-on-year, making it Australia’s fourth most valuable export behind iron ore, coal and international education, the report said.

“In January the value of LNG exports passed $2 billion, another monthly record, and heading higher, notwithstanding the fall in oil prices,” it added.

Performance this calendar year is expected to be even stronger as APLNG and Gorgon continue to ramp up and new LNG projects such as Wheatstone and Ichthys come into production.

EnergyQuest said it expects that Australia’s 2017 exports will be around 57 million mt and if current oil prices are maintained, the value of Australian LNG exports will grow further to around $24 billion, making it Australia’s third largest export earner.

LNG World News Staff