Commodities, Markets

LNG eyes five-year export boom: report

However Australian consumers of the energy resource could be left to foot the bill.

ANZ’s latest report on the LNG industry states that exports will rise to some $50 billion by 2020 as production from new fields come online.

The dramatic increase in export value will be fuelled by a rise in global gas prices, which will result from an estimated 40 per cent surge in demand from Asia over the coming decade, according to the bank.

LNG is expected to overtake iron ore as Australia’s key driver of export growth by the end of 2016, and by 2018 is predicted to equal Qatar as the world’s largest producer of the commodity.

“Fast growing Australian LNG exports will have significant benefits for the Australian economy,”? Warren Hogan, ANZ chief economist said.

But the far-reaching and lucrative export opportunities now facing Australian LNG producers is also expected to have harsh consequence for domestic consumers of the commodity.

“The gas market is set for a dramatic shake-up, with international forces likely to drive domestic prices higher. This will inevitably impact consumers and gas reliant manufacturers,”? Mr Hogan added.

According to the bank’s report, domestic gas prices are set to double over the next five years as producers seek more favourable conditions overseas and potentially drain local supply.

ANZ stated that chemicals manufacturing, metals, steels, wood and paper producers could all experience price hikes of more than 50 per cent.

Households meanwhile are predicted to see a 30 per cent increase in their gas bills.

ANZ’s forecast comes after the Australian Energy Market Operator stated that there would be “no supply gaps” to Australia’s eastern and south-eastern gas markets up until 2019 as a result of lower than forecast consumption levels.

AEMO noted that lower than expected gas consumption in Queensland and NSW industrial sectors would assist in alleviating domestic demand for the commodity.

AEMO managing director and chief executive officer Matt Zema in April said a fall in the forecast demand combined with increased capacity of the Victoria-New South Wales interconnector and other major pipeline projects all reduced the potential for supply gaps in the short term.

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