Queensland LNG Exports end 2020 on Record High

Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) shipping data has revealed that despite the impacts of COVID-19, record levels of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have been exported during the 2020 calendar year (CY20). GPC shipping data indicate December’s record level of LNG exports have once again breached the 2 million mt/year mark. The data shows GPC’s three export terminals shipped a combined 2.194 million mt for the month – 7% higher than the previous monthly volume record of 2.04 million mt, shipped during November 2020.

A total of 34 shiploads of LNG left the Port of Gladstone during December 2020 – this represents the highest daily production rate of LNG ever recorded in a single month at the Gladstone LNG facilities. These figures signify that the three LNG facilities were operating at 104% of their combined nameplate capacity during December 2020 delivering these record level of LNG exports.

Queensland exported a total of 22.37 million tonnes (340 shiploads) of LNG during CY20, an increase of 0.25 million tonnes (8 shiploads) from CY19.

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 December export volume is welcome news following a mid-pandemic 25-month low of 1.69 million mt set in August 2020.

Table illustrating Queensland's 2020 Calendar Year LNG Exports

December 2020 also marked a record monthly LNG export from Queensland to Japan of 322,572 tonnes – this represents 450% more than the volumes exported to Japan in December in the previous two years. With only limited domestic energy supplies, and suffering from unusually severe cold weather, Japan remains one of the world’s top importers of LNG, relying on cargoes of the super-chilled fuel to meet demand for heating, manufacturing and electricity generation.

A week of unusually severe weather has dumped more than a metre of snow on parts of the country and prompted many households, which are working from home due to COVID-19, to turn up the heating. Peak electricity demand in Japan has been approximately 90% more than expected, according to OCCTO, a Japanese organisation that coordinates and oversees power transmission in the country.

Table illustrating Queensland's 2020 Calendar Year LNG Exports by Destination Country

For more information on Gladstone Port Trade Statistics: www.gpcl.com.au

Header image courtesy of Chevron Australia Pty Ltd.

Who are the GasFields Commission Queensland?

Established as an independent statutory body in 2013, the Commission’s purpose is to manage and improve the sustainable coexistence of landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. The Commission manages sustainable coexistence in petroleum and gas producing regions of Queensland, and will continue to do so as the industry expands into new and emerging basins.

Our vision is to achieve thriving communities in areas of gas development that are free from discord and supported by well-informed, respectful and balanced stakeholder relationships.

One way the Commission is endeavouring to realise this vision is by providing transparency and independent assurances that the onshore gas industry is appropriately regulated and held to account when needed. This in turn will help cultivate sustainable coexistence, whilst ensuring community and landholder confidence in the regulators and gas industry increases.

Drawing on its wealth of experience in the development of the gas industry and by collaborating with other relevant entities, the Commission provides a range of support to communities and landholders, primarily through education and engagement. These education and engagement activities occur with individual landholders via Commission facilitated webinars, information sessions, publications (The Gas Guide, Shared Landscapes Reports), face-to-face meetings and public workshops.

It should be noted that the Commission does not engage in individual negotiations between landholders and gas companies, but rather provides communities and landholders with the information and support they need to make informed decisions and achieve good outcomes.