Australia is determined to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2018 or 2020 at the latest, according to which Down Under pundits you believe.
All it took, they say, was the investment of about $200 billion to target an increase in Asian demand while not being overly concerned about prospects of an industry glut or low prices which some reports say are set to plague the LNG market for years.
Today, Australia sits in second spot in world rankings behind Qatar and is expected to have a total nameplate (theoretical maximum) capacity of about 85 million tonnes per year with the biggest ramp up in exports expected between 2015 and 2017.
So far, Australia has seven operating LNG export terminals with two recently making their first shipments.
Photo above: The first shipment leaving the Santos Gladstone LNG Terminal on Curtis Island, Queensland, Australia. Photo source: Santos GLNG
The Chief Executive of APPEA (Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association), Dr. Malcolm Roberts, said recently that Australia’s enormous natural gas reserves and Asia’s thirst for clean, reliable energy have seen an unprecedented level of investment in Australian projects in recent years.
APPEA represents most of the key companies in the oil and gas exploration and production industry in Australia and Dr. Roberts is confident it is in great shape for the future. “While the oil and gas industry faces the same headwinds as other commodities, we are resilient enough to fend off the latest industry challenges,” he contends.
And to think that just five years ago, Australia only had two operating LNG-producing plants. One was quite small — the single train (production line) Darwin LNG Terminal — and it joined the original and much larger Woodside North West Shelf LNG Karratha project with its five production trains. In 2012, these were joined by the nearby single train Pluto LNG Terminal, also a Woodside project.