Australia now the world's largest LNG exporter

Australia becomes the largest LNG exporter after shipping 77.5Mt in 2019

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Australia's liquefied natural gas exports were worth A$49 billion in 2019.

Australia's liquefied natural gas exports were worth A$49 billion in 2019.

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An estimated 77.5 million tonnes were exported from Australia in 2019.

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Australia has become the largest liquefied natural gas exporter in the world, shipping an estimated 77.5 million tonnes worth A$49 billion in 2019.

The record figure knocked Qatar out of the top spot, with the nation expected to produce 75Mt in 2019.

Australia's LNG exports were more than twice that of the United States, with the US Energy Information Administration forecasting 34.3Mt in 2019.

LNG shipments out of hubs at Karratha, Gladstone and Darwin increased Australian exports by 11.4 per cent on 2018, largely due to growth from the Ichthys project, operated by INPEX.

The largest contributing project to Australian LNG exports was the Woodside-operated North West Shelf project in WA, followed by the two Chevron-operated WA projects, Gorgon and Wheatstone.

Western Australia alone is now the world's second largest LNG producer with Queensland ranking sixth. Queensland production was up by 8.2pc to 22.4Mt.

The figures were confirmed by Australian independent energy consultancy, EnergyQuest.

EnergyQuest chief executive Dr Graeme Bethune said while Qatar's final production figures for 2019 were yet to be produced, Australian operational capacity of 88Mt now substantially exceeds the 77Mt of its Middle Eastern rival.

"The record Australian performance for last year is 2.5Mt above the forecast of Qatar 2019 production of 75Mt, contained in the December 2019 Australian Government Resources and Energy Quarterly," Dr Bethune said.

"On an annualised basis, we have previously achieved the global title in some individual months but 2019 is the first time Australia has topped global LNG export performance on a sustained annual basis."

EnergyQuest estimates the average 2019 LNG export price was A$11.41 per gigajoule (GJ), well above WA domestic gas prices of below A$4/GJ.

On the east coast, the Wallumbilla average gas price fell from A$8.95/GJ in 2018 to A$8.15/GJ in 2019 and as of January 1, had eased even further to A$5/GJ.

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