RECORD REVENUE: Santos' GLNG project at Curtis Island.
RECORD REVENUE: Santos' GLNG project at Curtis Island.

Santos posts new record on Curtis Island LNG exports

OIL and gas giant Santos made a record revenue of $449million during the last months of 2018 for shipments of liquefied natural gas from its Curtis Island project.

The company's fourth quarter report revealed 779,000 tonnes of LNG left its GLNG plant during the final three months of the year.

Its exports were lower than expected, with some gas diverted to the domestic market.

"The diverted gas, originally slated for export cargoes and equivalent to 0.7million tonnes of LNG, was sold to East Coast domestic customers,” chief executive Kevin Gallagher said.

Mr Gallagher said the delivery to Australian customers was the main cause of the site's lower production compared to the same three months in 2017.

But the company was still able to increase its revenue, despite the drop in production, due to higher domestic gas and liquefied natural gas prices.

Revenue for LNG sales increased from $405million in the third quarter of 2018 to $449 in the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter of 2017, when the project exported 60million tonnes more than the most recent quarter, revenue reached $323million.

It said the average price of LNG for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $10.96per million British Thermal Unit, an increase from 10.43 the quarter prior and 7.33 at the same period during 2017.

Meanwhile domestic gas prices rose to $5.73 per gigajoule, up from $4.90 in the third quarter of 2018.

News of Santos' record revenue from GLNG shipments comes as industry analysts continue to worry the project cannot run at full capacity.

EnergyQuest's December month-in-review report found GLNG ran at 54 per cent of total capacity in 2018, exporting 4.2Mt in 12 months.