By ERWIN CHLANDA
There is a world glut of gas, nobody wants it and prices are in freefall.
Or not. It depends on who’s talking.
The message of EnergyQuest CEO Graeme Bethune (pictured) in a media release last week was this: “The Australian LNG sector is now a A$50bn earner as exports climb 21% over 2018-19.
“EnergyQuest estimates that Australia exported a total of 75.1 million tonnes (Mt) of LNG in the 2018-19 fiscal year (FY 2019), a total of 1,111 cargoes and 21.2% higher than the 61.7 Mt exported in FY 2018.
“Total LNG export revenue in FY 2019 is estimated to be $50.5bn.
“LNG is now Australia’s third largest export by value after iron ore and coal.
“Australia was the world’s second largest LNG exporter in FY 2019, just behind Qatar’s nameplate capacity of 77 Mtpa,” says Dr Bethune.
“Australian production in FY 2020 is likely to pass Qatar when EnergyQuest expects production to be around 80 Mt, boosted by a full year of production from Ichthys and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project which came online in June.
“Most of the growth in production in FY 2019 occurred from projects in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, notably INPEX’s Ichthys project and Chevron’s Wheatstone project.
“Queensland exports increased slightly, from 20.5 Mt in FY 2018 to 21.8 Mt in FY 2019.
“The Queensland LNG projects produced an estimated 43 PJ in excess of export demand.
“Japan continued to be the largest buyer of Australian LNG in FY 2019, accounting for 41% of exports.
“However, China is now close behind, with 37% of exports.
“South Korea was the third largest market with 10% of exports. Japan is the biggest market for west coast exports but China is the biggest market for Queensland exports, accounting for 72% of Curtis Island shipments in FY 2019.
“Australia continues to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China and the second-largest to South Korea,” says Dr Bethune.
By ERWIN CHLANDA