Australia has seen its liquefied natural gas exports continue to rise but is still yet to topple Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of LNG according to EnergyQuest.
The energy consultancy company estimates Australia exported 75.1 million tonnes of LNG in the 2019 financial year, which ended 30 June. This was 21.2% higher than the 2018 financial year but still below Qatar’s nameplate capacity of 77 million tonnes per annum.
However, it expects Australia to surpass Qatar during the current financial year, with output tipped to total about 80 million tonnes thanks to a full year of production from Inpex’s Ichthys project and Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project, with the latter only commencing production of LNG in June.
EnergyQuest estimates the 1111 cargoes of Australian LNG shipped over the 2019 financial year generated about A$50.5 billion (US$35.5 billion), making it the country’s third largest export by value behind iron ore and coal.
Japan remains Australia’s largest buyer of LNG, taking 41% of the exports, however China is swiftly catching up with 37% of all exports being directed to the Asian superpower.
EnergyQuest noted that while Japan was still the biggest market for LNG from Australia’s west coast, China was the largest market for the projects on the east coast, with 72% of shipments from Curtis Island off Queensland destined for China in the 2019 financial year.