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

'Going gangbusters': Australia to take global lead with LNG

AUSTRALIA is expected to overtake Qatar as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas next year, according to Minister for Resources Matt Canavan.

Figures released in the December 2018 Resources and Energy Quarterly yesterday showed earnings from the gas industry increased by 60 per cent to $50billion in 2018-19.

Off the back of Australia taking the crown as the largest global LNG exporter, and for the fourth quarter, Senator Canavan said the nation was poised for the trend to continue.

"For the first time ever, Australia has exported more gas than Qatar in November and it looks like we will lead them in annual exports too over the next year," Senator Canavan said.

"Australia is on track for annual gas exports of 77million tonnes a year ... this has been building for a while but I am actually surprised at the level we hit.

"The message is to all Australians that our resources industry, our mining industry is going gangbusters."

He said total resource and energy exports were expected to earn a record $264billion in 2018-19, generating more than half the value of all Australian exports.

"This is because we're exporting more and getting more prices for our high quality coal, gas and other resources," Senator Canavan said.

"Gladstone is a big part of the story, the trains in Curtis Island, the jobs that are being created, that's creating wealth for all of our country."

Contributing to the record-making month were exports from Curtis Island's three LNG plants, which shipped its largest amount of LNG for 2019.

Last month, 1,923,691 tonnes of LNG left Gladstone's port, with 29 cargoes shipped to China, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.

Senator Canavan used the results to push for more investment in the "next wave of gas projects".

"Both Qatar and the United States will have new gas production and infrastructure coming on line in future years that will challenge Australia's lead," the minister said.

The surge in exports follows the starting of a number of projects over the past three years, most recently the Ichthys offshore LNG project.