LNG exports surge: EnergyQuest

Australia’s LNG exports are forecast to grow 22.6 per cent in the current 2017-2018 financial year (FY18) after a robust performance in the 12 months to June 30 this year.

In its just released monthly LNG report for June, independent energy consultancy EnergyQuest said Australia broke the 50 MMt barrier for the first time in the full 2016-2017 financial year (FY17), exporting a total of 51.4 MMt of LNG.

EnergyQuest expects this volume to be outperformed in the current new financial year, growing to 63 MMt by 30 June next year – just below forecasts of 63.8 MMt by the Office of Chief Economist.

The latest yearly export performance is more than 37 per cent stronger than the FY16 total of 37.5 MMt exported.

EnergyQuest estimates the sales value of the FY17 LNG exports at $22.3 billion compared to $16.6 billion for the previous year.

The June report found that Australia continues to more than hold its own in key North Asian markets against Qatar, the world’s largest LNG exporter, and rapidly rising exports from the United States.

“Over FY17, production increased from almost every Australian LNG project and both Western Australia and Queensland boosted their State outputs to higher levels,” said EnergyQuest CEO Dr Graeme Bethune.

“The exceptions were Darwin LNG (down 0.9 MMt) and QCLNG (down 0.7 MMt) compared to their previous 12 months performance.

“With rising Australian LNG export volumes, we are seeing the sector’s total export revenue increasing quickly, including record monthly levels towards year’s close.”

In June, the Pluto, Darwin and APLNG plants all produced at above nameplate capacity.

APLNG produced at 110 per cent of nameplate.

EnergyQuest noted the national LNG export output would rise further over coming months with Gorgon shipments out of Western Australia now accelerating, WA’s Wheatstone plant to commence LNG production next month with first exports in September this year, and
Darwin’s Ichthys project due to commence production in 2018.

On the international sales front, Japan, China and Korea continue to be the dominant destinations for Australian exports, comprising 91 per cent of deliveries in June.

Australia continues to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China and the second-largest to Korea after Qatar.

For May, Australia supplied 44 per cent of Chinese LNG imports, 31 per cent of Japanese imports and 21 per cent of Korean imports.

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