A record volume of 2.01 million mt of liquefied natural gas was exported from Gladstone last month.
A record volume of 2.01 million mt of liquefied natural gas was exported from Gladstone last month.

Record LNG exports leave Gladstone port in October

RECORD Liquefied Natural Gas exports left the port of Gladstone during the month of October, data has revealed.

In continued good news for the industry, National Australia Bank economists have predicted demand for Gladstone’s gas could continue to rise.

“LNG demand in east Asia has generally been bubbling along at a good pace, with signs of a further lift in Q4 2020,” the bank’s economists said last month.

Gladstone Ports Corporation released data this month detailing LNG exports breached the 2 million mt/year mark for the first time ever.

An aerial view of the Santos gas export plant being constructed at Gladstone Picture supplied by Santos.
An aerial view of the Santos gas export plant being constructed at Gladstone Picture supplied by Santos.

The data showed Gladstone’s three export terminals shipped a combined 2.01 million mt in the month - up 1 per cent year-on-year, and 9 per cent higher than the volume shipped during September.

The previous record monthly export volume was 1.99 million mt set in December 2017.

The three export terminals are the 9 million mt/year nameplate capacity Origin-ConocoPhillips-Sinopec Australia Pacific LNG, the 7.8 million mt/year nameplate Santos-led Gladstone LNG, and Shell’s 8.5 million mt/year Queensland Curtis LNG.

The record October export volume is welcome news following a mid-pandemic 25-month low of 1.69 million mt in August.

However, according to S & P Global, LNG exports for the year from Gladstone could be down on 2019 volumes.

“Queensland’s exports for the year, which have seen customers exercising downward contract flexibility in response to the COVID-19 demand slump and Gladstone exporters bringing forward maintenance schedules, is shaping up to fall more than 400,000 mt behind 2019,” S & P Global reported.

“The three terminals exported a combined 18.13 million mt in January-October at an annualised rate of 21.7 million mt.

“In 2019, there was a total 22.12 million mt exported.”

Santos numbers are good news for Gladstone's GLNG plant.
Santos numbers are good news for Gladstone's GLNG plant.

Meanwhile, maintenance will be conducted on one of Santos GLNG production trains on Curtis Island in January, temporarily limiting the supply of gas available.

The mining giant recently advised the Australia Energy Market Operator AEMO of the planned maintenance shutdown.

One train will be offline during January 2 to 7, for scheduled maintenance, the notice said.

Santo’s Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas plant has two production trains.

A ‘train’ is effectively the Santos plant’s liquefaction and purification facility.

Each of the plants two trains convert natural gas into liquefied natural gas, which can then be transported.

LNG producers in Queensland and around Australia voluntarily submit information to the AEMO.

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