Australian LNG exports surge 38 per cent in 2016

Australia’s LNG exports surged by 37.7 per cent to 36.8 million tonnes (Mt) in 2016 as the plethora of new projects in WA, the Northern Territory and coastal Queensland triggered a flood of new shipments to global markets.

Total exports were 10.1Mt above the 26.7Mt shipped in 2015, and performance in 2017 is expected to be even stronger.

In its just released monthly LNG report, EnergyQuest said as APLNG and Gorgon continue to ramp up and new LNG projects come into production (Wheatstone and Ichthys), Australia’s 2017 exports will be close to 60Mt, up by 63 per cent on 2016.

EnergyQuest estimated the total value of Australian LNG exports as $17.9 billion in 2016, which is an 8.6 per cent dollar increase over the previous year.

Oil prices (to which LNG prices are linked) are now around 25 per cent higher than the 2016 average, reflecting recent decisions by OPEC.

If current oil prices are maintained, EnergyQuest estimated that the value of Australian LNG exports will double to around A$36 billion in 2017.

“The growth of LNG exports is a massive benefit to the Australian economy,” EnergyQuest CEO Dr Graeme Bethune said.

Australia’s newest LNG hub – the three new plants around Gladstone – not surprisingly saw Queensland LNG exports nearly triple to 17.5Mt in 2016.

Japan remains the largest customer for Australian LNG, taking 48 per cent of 2016 cargoes, with China now the second biggest customer taking 30 per cent of cargoes.