Oil and Gas News

Prelude, east coast key to LNG boost: EnergyQuest

Australian liquified natural gas (LNG) is expected to continue rising this year as a result of increased contributions from Prelude offshore Western Australia and east coast LNG producers.

According to EnergyQuest’s Energy Quarterly report 2021, LNG production will improve slightly this year to 80 million tonnes (Mt).

The report outlined that Australia exported a record 78.2 Mt of LNG in 2020, up from 77.5 Mt in 2019.

“This was a good result given the disruptions to Gorgon, the fact Prelude hadn’t produced since early February, issues seen at Wheatstone with reduced production, and the COVID-19 destruction of LNG demand, particularly early in the year,” the report highlighted.

Queensland’s LNG projects recovered quickly from the slump in demand and global gas prices in mid-2020 to finish the year with record exports in volume terms.

Total exports from Queensland increased to a record 6.2 Mt in the fourth quarter of 2020, beating the previous record of 5.9 Mt in same quarter the year before.

EnergyQuest estimates 2021 export revenue for the Queensland LNG industry of around $10 billion, with much of it depending on the type of winter experienced in the northern hemisphere.

In addition, total petroleum production edged higher to a new record in 2020, due to a strong performance by Ichthys.

National production increased by just 0.6 per cent to 1,072 million barrels of oil-equivalent (MMboe), compared to 2019.

EnergyQuest chief executive officer Graeme Bethune described 2020 as a wild ride in energy markets.

“Oil prices crashed and then soared back to where they started. A freezing northern winter drove spot gas prices up to the point where gas was more expensive than oil. And east coast electricity prices have crashed thanks to COVID and the flood of renewables,” he said.