12/07/2016 - 12:07

LNG exports up in June

12/07/2016 - 12:07

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Australia’s enormous LNG investment boom is starting to pay trade dividends, with exports up 18.5 per cent in the month of June to 3.6 million tonnes, largely to Japan and South Korea.

LNG exports up in June
International companies spent tens of billions on LNG projects in Australia.

Australia’s enormous LNG investment boom is starting to pay trade dividends, with exports up 18.5 per cent in the month of June to 3.6 million tonnes, largely to Japan and South Korea.

That represented an increase of 560,000 tonnes over the month of May.

Export volumes from Queensland, which commissioned its first facility 18 months ago, were 1.4mt in the month, compared with 1.8mt in Western Australia.

Darwin LNG exported 0.3mt of LNG.

A number of the six facilities in production nationally were operating above nameplate capacity, according to Energyquest chief executive Graeme Bethune.

“The strong growth in Australia’s June LNG exports reflects a full month of resumed production from the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Venture, which underwent planned maintenance in May, together with particularly strong performance from Woodside’s Pluto project (WA) and Shell’s QCLNG project in Gladstone,” Dr Bethune said.

“We expect further growth in Australian LNG exports over the next six months as the second trains of the GLNG and APLNG projects come into production and the Chevron-operated Gorgon project in WA begins to ramp-up.”

The Chevron Gorgon project exported first gas earlier this year, although issues with a refrigerant circuit quickly led to a month-long maintenance delay.

Chevron’s other WA project, Wheatstone, has flagged the middle of next year for first LNG shipment.

Australia’s biggest LNG export destination is still Japan, which received 22 cargoes of the super chilled fuel, with 15 cargoes going to China.

That was from an estimated 44 cargoes.

Two cargoes were sent to India, South Korea and Egypt.

Global moves

Energyquest found that Indian LNG imports were up 40 per cent in May 2016 compared with the previous year, while Chinese imports were 27 per cent higher.

Japanese imports fell 4 per cent and South Korean fell 5.8 per cent.

Just five cargoes have been sent from the new Sabine Pass facility in the US, with most going to South America and one to Portugal.

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