GLA060617An aerial shot of the Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island.
GLA060617An aerial shot of the Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island. GLA060617Photopia

Curtis Island loses LNG export heavyweight title to WA

WESTERN Australia has overtaken Curtis Island as the heavyweight for liquefied natural gas exports after the completion of the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects.

EnergyQuest's January LNG market report estimated export revenue jumped 8 per cent last month to $2.7billion, with $2billion flooding in from WA.

Last month 128,508 tonnes of LNG left Gladstone's port, bringing in an estimated $0.6billion of revenue.

EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said exports from Gladstone dropped by four cargoes in January compared to December.

The APLNG project, pictured, shipped three fewer cargoes, QCLNG shipped two fewer and GLNG shipped one more.

The billion-dollar industry was further boosted by Japan's increased spot cargo price, which rose to its highest level in three years last month.

Curtis Island LNG exporters reaped the rewards of the booming price, shipping 128,508 tonnes of LNG to Japan in January.

"Japanese imports of LNG hit their highest in at least five years in January, with shipments expected to continue to be high due to continued freezing weather," Mr Bethune said.

"Higher oil prices are feeding through into higher LNG contract prices but also make it difficult for east coast domestic buyers to compete with exports."

Exports from GLNG, APLNG and QCLNG dropped to 1.8 million tonnes in January from 2 million tonnes in December.

The west coast LNG projects shipped 3.9 million tonnes last month, including 20 cargoes from Gorgon which had a "good month".

Exports from over the ditch are likely to strengthen further this year, with Chevron's Wheatstone project, near Onslow in Western Australia, expected to kick off its second train in the second quarter of this year.