An aerial view of the three LNG plants at Curtis Island.
An aerial view of the three LNG plants at Curtis Island. Ashley Roach - Fullframe Photogr

'Poster child': Heavyweights highlight work at Curtis Island

THE liquefied natural gas plants at Curtis Island have been held up as the "poster child" of the industry at a conference featuring some of the biggest players within the business.

On the first day of the sixth annual Australian Domestic Gas Outlook 2018 conference in Sydney, politicians and leaders of major gas players declared Australia's market had recovered from last year's fears of a shortage.

Matt Canavan, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, said the gas outlook had improved in the past few months and a surplus of 20J was expected this year.

"This is significantly less than AEMO's gas shortfall forecast of 54 to 108 PJ for 2018, which was the backdrop for last year's conference," the Rockhampton senator said.

After the Australian Government threatened to pull the trigger on gas export controls, the three $70 billion Curtis Island LNG plants promised to supply more gas to the domestic market.

Mr Canavan said while Australia has enough gas resources to meet its needs, the extra domestic gas from Queensland was priced higher than average.


Senator Matt Canavan in Yeppoon to talk about labelling laws.
Senator Matt Canavan. Chris Ison ROK170118clabelling1

Taking aim at states and territories with gas moratoriums, Mr Canavan said governments needed to end their "voodoo science" on gas.

"It's about finding lower cost areas of gas production. The sooner state and territory governments allow this exploration to occur the quicker we can get on with trying to find and develop such gas," he said.

Outspoken Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian MacFarlane said Curtis Island LNG plants supplying more domestic gas was critical to resolving the gas shortage fears. Mr MacFarlane, who is sceptical of reports that Australia was running out of gas, said Queensland was the "poster child" in terms of gas investment, government and political support.

"In Gladstone, with all six trains online ... reports are now circulating of 300GJ/a of spare capacity," he said.

"Add to this the more optimistic outlook for international LNG demand and price and the reason for the confidence in exploration and development is obvious."