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Southeast Australia LNG import plans could go ahead

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LNG Industry,

According to Reuters, reports from the Australian government suggest that plans to import LNG to Australia could help cap soaring local gas prices.

In the last two years, prices have tripled and gas has been sucked out of the southeastern market as three new LNG export plants opened on the east coast. As a result, four projects to import LNG have been proposed.

The Australian energy market operator recently reneged on a forecast for a deficit in the near future. The explanation followed that the operator no longer expected a gas shortfall in southeastern Australia before 2030 thanks to the expected new production and government pressure on LNG exporters to boost local supply.

However, according to a Department of Industry report, LNG import plans are advancing and could still be justified as gas produced in Queensland state is expensive, piping it to the south where the gas is needed is costly, and LNG from the Asian spot market could be cheaper.

The quarterly report on Resources and Energy report stated: “While there are challenges to LNG imports into Australia’s east coast gas market, there are also reasons to think that proposals for an import terminal may go ahead.”

As it stands AGL Energy has the most advanced plans, having secured a jetty to park a FSRU. The company aims to start importing by 2021.

ExxonMobil Corp has also confirmed that it is considering importing LNG, and a consortium involving Japan’s JERA is looking to start imports from 2020.

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