Gross Australian LNG production increased by 53.2% in the March quarter to 10.1 million tonnes (Mt), according to a report by energy analyst, EnergyQuest.
This was due to the ramp-up of production from APLNG and GLNG projects located on Curtis island in Queensland and the first cargo from Chevron’s Gorgon project in Western Australia.
Of note over the period was Queensland’s March quarter performance – exporting 3.8 Mt of LNG – more than the whole of Russia’s 2.5 Mt of LNG exports, the report said.
“Queensland’s performance is extraordinary, from zero LNG exports as recently as 18 months ago to more than Russia already,” EnergyQuest CEO Graeme Bethune said in the report.
According to the report, Shell’s QCLNG project, also located on Curtis Island, shipped 31 cargoes in Q1 comprising 2.1 Mt, Santos’s GLNG project shipped 16 cargoes of nearly 1 Mt and the Origin Energy-Conoco Phillips project shipped 11 cargoes of 0.7 Mt.
LNG output is now Australia’s largest component of petroleum production.
Despite a 36% fall in average Australian LNG export prices due to the fall in oil prices, Australian LNG export revenue in Q1 of $4,469 million was only down slightly from Q1 2015, supported by the growth of export volumes, the report said.
LNG boosts Australia’s GDP
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on Wednesday confirms that strong LNG exports are a “rare source of growth” in Australia’s economy, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said in a statement.
Oil and gas extraction rose by 5.1 per cent over the 2016 March quarter, following the record $17 billion in LNG exports in 2015.
APPEA Chief Executive Malcolm Roberts said Australia’s LNG projects will “deliver decades of economic growth, jobs and exports”.
“In 2015, the seven LNG projects in Australia produced about 30 million tonnes of LNG,” Roberts said.
“When these projects and the three projects under construction reach full output, Australia’s LNG exports will almost triple”.
“By 2019, Australia will be the largest single exporter of LNG in the world,” according to Roberts.
“For LNG to continue to be a pillar of the nation’s economy amid a depressed oil market, exploration and development must be fostered, not restricted,” he said.
Roberts added that capturing future growth and investment opportunities should be a “key aim” for both major parties during the Federal election campaign.
“We need to hear much more from our political leaders about how they intend to encourage resource investment, increase competitiveness and build on a decade of extraordinary LNG investment,” he added.
LNG World News Staff