Record LNG Exports Leave Gladstone Port

Record Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports left the port of Gladstone during the month of October, Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) shipping data has revealed.

In continued good news for the industry, National Australia Bank economists have predicted demand for Gladstone’s gas could continue to rise. “LNG demand in east Asia has generally been bubbling along at a good pace, with signs of a further lift in Q4 2020,” the bank’s economists said last month.

GPC has released data this month detailing LNG exports breached the 2 million mt/year mark for the first time ever. The data showed GPC’s three export terminals shipped a combined 2.011 million mt in the month – up 1% year-on-year, and 9% higher than the volume shipped during September. The previous record monthly export volume was 1.99 million mt set in December 2017.

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

Gladstone’s largest export destination, China was sent 1.21 million mt during the month, down 12% from a particularly strong October 2019 and 1% lower than September, the GPC data showed. Exports to South Korea, Gladstone’s second largest LNG export destination, eased 6% from a six-month high in September at 342,070 mt in October, up 20% year on year, the data showed.

Volumes to Malaysia soared to a five-month high of 189,280 mt, a 199% year-on-year increase and a 195% rise from September, GPC said. GPC reported 127,999 mt exported to Japan, level year on year and up 93% from September. Singapore was sent a total of 141,863 mt, up 14% from the same month last year and a 134% jump month on month.

LNG exports from Gladstone began in January 2015 when QCLNG’s first train came online. The last of the port’s six trains shipped its first cargo in October 2016 via APLNG’s second train.

Meanwhile, maintenance will be conducted on one of the Santos Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas production trains on Curtis Island in January, temporarily limiting the supply of gas available. The mining giant recently advised the Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO) of the planned maintenance shutdown.

One train will be offline during January 2 to 7 for scheduled maintenance. The Santos GLNG plant has two production trains. A ‘train’ is effectively the Santos plant’s liquefaction and purification facility. Each of the plants two trains convert natural gas into liquefied natural gas, which can then be transported. LNG producers in Queensland and around Australia voluntarily submit information to the AEMO.

Header image courtesy of Woodside Energy Ltd.

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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.

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