Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the Australian port of Gladstone totaled 20.58 million tons in 2018, hitting record figures, according to the Queensland Resources Council.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said in a statement that the data released by Gladstone Ports showed a new record which eclipsed the previous record set in 2017 of 20.23 million tons.
The data showed that in December, the three LNG export facilities located on the Curtis Island near Gladstone shipped a total of 1.7 million tons of the chilled fuel.
“Queensland’s LNG sector is forecast to continue its record export growth that is being driven by an energy-hungry Asia. China was again the largest customer buying nearly 14.25 mt followed by South Korea at 3.22 mt while Japan imported 1.6 mt,” Macfarlane said.
December data shows that China received 1.3 million tons of LNG, followed by South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. The volumes were spread over 27 cargoes for the month.
Macfarlane further added that Queensland LNG was exported to seven different countries, in 2018, namely, China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia (0.88 mt), Singapore (0.47 mt), United Arab Emirates (0.06 mt) and the Philippines (0.06 mt).
“China’s demand for our LNG in 2017 was 57 percent of total exports but last year it was 69 percent. According to the Office of the Chief Economist’s latest report, China plans to increase the share of gas in its energy mix from 7 percent to a range of 8–10 percent by 2020,” he said adding that LNG is likely to play a major role in servicing the rising Chinese gas demand with the country’s LNG imports forecast to reach 53 million tonnes or 73 billion cubic meters in 12 months.
QRC’s current economic data shows the oil and gas industry delivered an $8.2 billion economic contribution in 2017/18 reaffirming its importance to the Queensland economy, the council said.