Views of the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project Site
Views of the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project Site

Coronavirus won’t hit record March quarter: energy expert

CURTIS Island LNG exports could still reach a March quarter record despite supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus.

With quarantine periods and reduced gas demand from China causing issues for QCLNG and APLNG exports, Santos GLNG is picking up the slack.

EnergyEdge’s managing director Josh Stabler said the current quarter is nearly 20 per cent higher than last year.

LNG vessels from China have minimum quarantine periods of two weeks, meaning a returning ship’s time has been extended.

Mr Stabler said this was resulting in a “lower throughput of LNG volumes” because of longer turnaround times.

He said GLNG was not affected as “the majority of their gas is exported to Korea and Malaysia”.

“The demand for natural gas in China has fallen sharply due to lower economic activity, this has primarily affected the short-term spot markets,” Mr Stabler said.

Daily export data from GLNG since 2016 reveals the current quarter is 18 per cent higher than last year.

Aside from a period in 2017 where GLNG exported in excess of rates, Mr Stabler said this was “the highest sustained production” and would likely be a record quarter.

“It has been reported that Sinopec has lowered their long term contract volumes from APLNG for the coming year, which will increase the amount … they will have exposed to the short term spot markets,” Mr Stabler said.

“The full implications of this are not yet known.”

“The spot market for LNG has been falling consistently for the past twelve months to the current record low prices, much of this movement prior to any potential impact from Covid-19.”