Queensland exported more LNG than Russia in the March quarter, according to a report released today by energy market analyst EnergyQuest.
Gross Australian LNG production increased by 53.2 per cent quarter on quarter to 10.1 million tonnes with the ramp-up of production from APLNG and GLNG projects in Queensland and the first cargo from the Gorgon project in Western Australia.
Of note over the period was Queensland’s March quarter performance – exporting 3.8 Mt of LNG – more than the whole of Russia’s 2.5 Mt of LNG exports.
“Queensland’s performance is extraordinary, from zero LNG exports as recently as 18 months ago to more than Russia already,” EnergyQuest Chief Executive Dr Graeme Bethune said.
“Queensland’s LNG projects have all ramped-up more quickly than expected and are near or exceeding nameplate capacity.
“The whole process has been very well managed with little apparent market disruption.”
Shell’s QCLNG project shipped 31 cargoes in Q1 comprising 2.1 Mt, Santos’s GLNG project shipped 16 cargoes of nearly 1 Mt and the Origin Energy-Conoco Phillips project shipped 11 cargoes of 0.7 Mt.
LNG output is now Australia’s largest component of petroleum production.
Despite a 36 per cent fall in average Australian LNG export prices due to the fall in oil prices, Australian LNG export revenue in Q1 of $4,469 million was only down slightly from Q1 2015, supported by the growth of export volumes.
The report also found Australian petroleum production increased by 26.4 per cent, while domestic gas production fell marginally to 262.6 PJ. However domestic gas production grew by 3 per cent in Western Australia to a record 94.7 PJ.
Total Australian natural gas and ethane production was up 33 per cent in the quarter compared to the March 2015 period at 774.1 PJ with increases in all basins except Bonaparte, Perth and Otway.
The report found that while east coast electricity demand has finally started to rise after years of flat or negative growth, coal and renewable energy sources are meeting that demand at the expense of gas, with gas-fired generation falling 14 per cent.