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Australia to export 63 mil mt of LNG in fiscal 2017-2018: EnergyQuest

Sydney — Australia's LNG exports in fiscal 2017-2018 (July-June) will be 63 million mt, after it crossed, for the first time, 50 million mt in fiscal 2016-2017, energy consultancy EnergyQuest said in its forecast on Wednesday.

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The consultancy's export forecast of 63 million mt for the current fiscal falls marginally below the Australian government's forecast of 63.8 million mt, which it lowered from 67.6 million mt earlier this month.

Australia shipped a total of 51.4 million mt of LNG last fiscal, with increase in production from almost every Australian LNG project, EnergyQuest said.

"The exceptions were Darwin LNG, which was down by 0.9 million mt, and QCLNG, down by 0.7 million mt, compared to their previous 12 months' performances," EnergyQuest CEO Graeme Bethune said.

In June, Western Australia-based Pluto LNG, Darwin LNG, and Queensland's Australia Pacific LNG all produced above their nameplate capacities, EnergyQuest said.

The consultancy said that Australia's LNG exports will increase in the coming months, with Gorgon shipments out of WA now accelerating, WA's Whetstone plant set to commence LNG production next month, with first exports in September this year, and Darwin's Ichthys project due to commence production in 2018.

A delay in Inpex's Ichthys start-up from late 2017 to March 2018 was highlighted by the government's department of industry, innovation and science as a reason for it lowering its forecast by 3.8 million mt in its resources and energy report for the June-quarter released this month.

EnergyQuest said that on the international sales front, Japan, China and South Korea continue to be the dominant destinations for Australian LNG exports, together constituting 91% of the country's June exports.

"Australia continues to be the largest LNG supplier to Japan and China, and the second-largest to [South] Korea, after Qatar," it said.

"For May, Australia supplied 44% of Chinese LNG imports, 31% of Japanese imports and 21% of [South] Korean imports," the consultancy added.

--Nathan Richardson,
--Edited by Arnab Banerjee,