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LNG exports to China from Australia's Gladstone port hit record high in Nov

LNG exports to China from Australia's Gladstone port on the Queenslandcoast hit an all-time record high in November, data released by the GladstonePorts Corporation on Wednesday showed.

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A total of 1.14 million mt of LNG was sent to China from Gladstone duringthe month, up 26% year on year and 2% higher from October, GPC data showed.

LNG exports to China from Gladstone crossed 1.12 million mt for the firsttime in September.

Japan, South Korea and Malaysia were the only other destinations to getLNG shipments from Gladstone in November, but both Japan and South Koreaseeing lower volumes year on year.

Shipments to Japan from the port stood at 138,100 mt in November, down27% year on year and 33% month on month, according to GPC data.

South Korea received 360,249 mt of LNG in November, down 25% on the yearbut up 57% on the month, the data showed.

Exports to Malaysia totaled 59,866 mt, compared with none a year earlierand down 4% from October.

Total exports from Gladstone were at the third highest level on record at1.7 million mt, up 4% year on year and 1% higher from October, the datashowed.

National Australia Bank said earlier in the month that it expected totalAustralian LNG exports to be essentially flat in the October-December quartercompared with the July-September period before increasing again in 2018.

It pointed out that Gladstone terminals were running well below capacity.Only Australia Pacific LNG was running close to capacity. Queensland CurtisLNG could trade on a portfolio basis and send much of its coal seam gas to thelocal market, while the Gladstone LNG project's exports continued to lag, itsaid.

APLNG, QCLNG and GLNG make up the three terminals at Gladstone, each withtwo trains. APLNG is an Origin-ConocoPhillips joint venture with a 9 millionmt/year capacity, Shell owns the 8.5 million mt/year QCLNG terminal and theSantos-led GLNG project has a 7.8 million mt/year capacity.

The combined 25.3 million mt/year capacity projects will ship out 18.22million mt of LNG over January-November, according to GPC data. THIRD QCLNG TRAIN

Arrow Energy and QCLNG last week signed a 27-year gas supply deal, whichopens up the possibility of a third train being built at the QCLNG terminal,RBC Capital Markets analyst Ben Wilson said earlier this week.

The deal, and Arrow's commitment to Surat Basin gas offers "the potentialfurther down the track of a third QCLNG train," he said.

"The scale of the deal is somewhat surprising to us. Covering [roughly] 5Tcf of gas over 27 years is a big deal by any estimation and, in part, speaksto the confidence that QCLNG/RD Shell has in the global LNG market outlook,"he added.

At the time of the deal, Shell Chairman Zoe Yujnovich said: "The Arrow JVpartners showed restraint earlier this decade by not building another twotrains on Curtis Island, but that doesn't change the need for scale that onlyLNG demand can provide".

Arrow is a 50/50 joint venture between Shell and PetroChina.

-- Abache Abreu, abache.abreu@spglobal.com

-- Nathan Richardson, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by E Shailaja Nair, newsdesk@spglobal.com