|Growing international demand for Australian LNG|
|Wednesday, 08 September 2010 10:53|
Increasing global demand for Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) culminated in record production in the 2009-10 financial year, according to a leading industry report card released today (Wednesday).
The report – by energy economics group, EnergyQuest – shows that LNG production grew by 7.5 per cent last year from 17.4 million tonnes per annum to 18.7 mtpa.
LNG exports would increase further over the next 12 months as Woodside Energy’s 4.3 mtpa Pluto project, located in the Carnarvon Basin about 190km north-west of Karratha in Western Australia, comes into production, the report forecast.
“The growth in LNG production was driven by growing demand for Australian LNG in Japan, China and Taiwan,” EnergyQuest chief executive Officer, Graeme Bethune, said today.
“Japan continues to be Australia’s biggest LNG customer, taking two-thirds of Australia’s exports in 2009-10,” he said.
“Australia supplies 18 per cent of Japan’s LNG, and is moving up from being the third to the second biggest supplier, overtaking Indonesia.
“China is also becoming increasingly important, taking 20 per cent of Australian exports in 2009-10.”
Although export volumes increased, the value of LNG exports fell from $10 billion to $7.8 billion.
Average export prices were $7.60 per gigajoule (GJ), down from $10.50 in 2008-09. This primarily reflects lower oil prices, to which Australian LNG prices are linked.
Australian domestic gas production was up by 3.3 per cent in 2009-10. Production grew strongly in Western Australia, compared with the previous year when production was affected by the Varanus Island interruption.
East coast production was flat for the year. Coal seam gas production continued to grow strongly, reaching a record 195 petajoules (PJ) in 2009-10.
Production of conventional gas was down, partly due to flooding in the Cooper Basin.
Spot prices for gas on the east coast remain low, averaging $2.56/GJ during the June quarter.
Gas-use for power generation on the east coast continues to grow and was up by nearly 10 PJ in the June quarter, reflecting in particular the start-up of the Darling Downs power station, north-west of Brisbane in Queensland.
Production of oil and natural gas liquids (condensate and LPG) fell from 181 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) in 2008-09 to 176 mmboe in 2009-10.
However, oil production received a boost in the June quarter due to the new Pyrenees and Van Gogh oil fields and good performance from the Vincent and Enfield oil fields, all in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia.
Pic: Spring Gully Coal Seam Gas Project courtesy Origin Energy.
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