A worker walks through a plant at the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas in Gladstone.
A worker walks through a plant at the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas in Gladstone.

LNG exports crack another record as domestic supply dwindles

GLADSTONE Port exported a record amount of liquid natural gas last year amid rising demand from China and Korea.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said a record of 20.58 million tonnes (mt) was shipped last year from the central Queensland port, eclipsing the previous all-time high of 20.23 mt in 2017.

"Queensland's LNG sector is forecast to continue its record export growth that is being driven by an energy hungry Asia," said Mr Macfarlane. "China was again the largest customer buying nearly 14.25 mt followed by South Korea at 3.22 mt while Japan imported 1.6 mt.

"The world wants our commodities and over the 12 months Queensland LNG was exported to seven countries - China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia (0.88 mt), Singapore (0.47 mt), United Arab Emirates (0.06 mt) and the Philippines (0.06 mt)."

Mr Macfarlane said China's demand for Queensland's LNG continued to grow from 57 per cent of total exports in 2017 to 69 per cent last year. According to the Office of the Chief Economist's latest report, China plans to increase the share of gas in its energy mix from 7 per cent to a range of 8-10 per cent by 2020.

"The same report found Australia had become the world's largest single gas exporter, ahead of Qatar, and is on track for annual exports of 77 million tonnes," he said.

"LNG is likely to play a major role in servicing the rising Chinese gas demand with the country's LNG imports forecast to reach 53 million tonnes or 73 billion cubic metres in 12 months.

"Resource exports help pay for Queenslanders' everyday needs through royalty taxes, for the teachers that educate our children, the nurses and doctors who look after our health and the police force that keeps us safe."

QRC's current economic data shows the oil and gas industry delivered a $8.2 billion economic contribution in 2017/18 and supported more than 39,000 full-time employees across the State and invested $3 billion with businesses locally and community organisations.