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Australian 2016 LNG exports up 38%

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LNG Industry,

Australia’s LNG exports surged by 37.7% to 36.8 million t over 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 10.1 million t above the 26.7 million t shipped in 2015.

Performance this calendar year is expected to be even stronger.

In its recently released monthly LNG report, EnergyQuest says that 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 60 million t, up by 63% on 2016.

Notwithstanding the lower oil price environment present through much of last year, EnergyQuest estimates the total value of Australian LNG exports as AUS$17.9 billion in 2016.

This is an 8.6% dollar increase over the previous year.

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

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

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

West coast exports were down slightly at 19.3 million t for the period.

Most Australian LNG exports continued to go to established customers with long-term contracts during the year.

Japan remains the largest customer for Australian LNG, taking 48% of 2016 cargoes.

China is now the second biggest customer, taking 30% of cargoes (60% of cargoes from Queensland).

Korea is an emerging buyer (53 cargoes) and 2016 saw regular Australian cargoes to India (16 cargoes).

There has been particularly strong demand for LNG in North Asia during the current winter.

North Asian LNG spot prices are now the highest in two years.

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