Let’s just put it simply. You know it to be a widely magnificent and diverse nation that has a huge base in mining operations, has a thing for beer, excels in Cricket and Rugby, and above anything- is home to some of the densest populations of alligators and kangaroos. But guess what? There’s more to Australia than meets the eye. Soon, it could become the world’s largest LNG exporter.
At the moment, it is Qatar which happens to be the world’s largest LNG exporter. But soon, the urbanized peninsular Arabian nation could find competition from Australia.
That said, particularly from the period of the last year-end, i.e., from November 2018- April 2019- Australia exported more LNG than Qatar. In addition, the US Energy Information Administration happened to share a key insight.
It is of the view that in the coming months, Australia could still be exporting more LNG and on a consistent basis, especially when compared to Qatar. To that end, it is worthwhile to note that one of the world’s most renowned floating LNG facility happens to be based in a remote field, northeast of Broome, in Western Australia.
Interestingly, this is a facility that has only recently begun shipping LNG to Asia. The first shipment of LNG cargo was shipped to customers in Asia earlier in June.
But currently, what seems to be falling in line for Australia in its bid to become the world’s largest exporter of LNG is the fact that it happens to have several multi-billion export projects and is planning to ramp up the production of the key exportable item.
In fact, in a recent report furnished the Australian government, it appeared that the relationship with LNG and Down Under is a positive, long-standing one. Here’s what the report happened to share:
“Australia and Qatar continued to jostle for the title of the world’s largest LNG exporter over the first five months of 2019.”
Australia exported more LNG than Qatar in November 2018 and April 2019. But now, the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) says Australia is on track to consistently export more LNG than Qatar, as recently commissioned projects such as Wheatstone, Ichthys, and Prelude ramp up production.
That told, much has been spoken about this mega facility, a key contributor to the economy, especially in recent times. Prelude, it appears, is capable of holding 175 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of LNG in merely the storage tanks. It also happens to be one among the eight new LNG projects that turned online in Australia from 2012-18.
But truth be told, the export game around LNG may not be that easy, after all. This is because the ongoing trade war between the United States and China is set to have some ramifications on the export of this key industrial component. Moreover, fears of cooling global growth in addition to fragile demands- as observed- from the likes of Japan, China, and South Korea is all set to impact Australia’s LNG export.
So from a global standpoint, these indeed are, interesting times for the supply and demand of LNG, especially since while Australia ramps up its production, Qatar is also expected to react, instead of sitting idle. According to current estimates, the Western Asian country plans to boost its LNG capacity to 110 million tons per year in 2024. This is a big increase, up from approximately 77 million tons a year.