Chevron’s Gorgon project and Inpex’s Ichthys project in Western Australia have contributed to Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports hitting a new record of 7.2 million tonnes (Mt) shipped in March.
Outlined in its EnergyQuest’s Australian LNG monthly March 2021 report, the March record was due to a rebound in performance from these two projects.
Production from Gorgon, which was previously interrupted by repairs to Train 1, was back in full swing, reaching 16.3 Mt on an annualised basis, 104 per cent of nameplate capacity (15.6 Mt). Ichthys produced 9.1 Mtpa on an annualised basis, 102 per cent of nameplate capacity of 8.9 Mtpa.
The report further highlighted that Gorgon and Ichthys were not the only projects to lift their performance, with four of Australia’s 10 projects also achieved higher production: Woodside’s North West Shelf project, Chevron’s Wheatstone project, Santos’s GLNG project and Shell’s Prelude project.
EnergyQuest stated that average plant capacity utilisation for the Australian LNG project was 95.6 per cent in March, up on 88.4 per cent in February.
In addition, the latest AEMO Victorian gas planning report predicts that annual exisiting and committed Victorian gas production is forecast to decline by 43 per cent.
AEMO is confident that first gas from the Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT) can be delivered ahead of the gas supply crunch in winter 2023.
“AGL of course had been planning on first gas from its $250 million Crib Point import terminal by first half of 2023 and put its money where its mouth is, reportedly having already spent or committed to spend around $130 million on the project,” EnergyQuest outlined in its report. “However, AGL’s demonstrated commitment to solving Victoria’s looming problem clearly counted for nought with the Victorian Government, which has refused to approve the project.”
The construction of the PKGT is now underway and Jemena is surveying the connection to the Eastern Gas Pipeline.
Jemena reported that construction will be done well ahead of winter 2023, pushing back winter shortfalls to at least 2026.