QGC LNG Plant on Curtis Island, Gladstone.
QGC LNG Plant on Curtis Island, Gladstone.

Record production and $10bn revenue forecast for QLD LNG

Not even the global pandemic could crush Central Queensland’s LNG industry which led the Australian resources sector in production and export volumes in 2020.

This buoyant and encouraging news, plus a resources sector outlook for 2021, was revealed in the March EnergyQuest report.

The positive results of the Queensland LNG industry came after a mid-2020 slump in demand and global gas prices.

LNG Tanker arriving in Gladstone Harbour.
LNG Tanker arriving in Gladstone Harbour.

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As production and processing of LNG continued in the sunshine state, northern hemisphere temperatures dropped as a bitterly cold winter took hold, resulting in a continuous convoy of tankers leaving Gladstone with exports.

“Australia exported a record 78.2 Mega tonnes of LNG in 2020, up from 77.5 Mt in 2019,” the report revealed.

“Total exports from Queensland increased to a record 6.2 Mt in Q4 2020, beating the previous record of 5.9 Mt in Q4 2019.”

Revenue generated by LNG exports was reflected by the mid-year demand and price slump.

“Quarterly revenue numbers highlight the rollercoaster ride – $4.1 billion in Q1, $4.2 billion in Q2 and a nadir of $1.6 billion in Q3 before bouncing back to $2.6 billion in Q4,” the report stated.

Looking ahead, Queensland’s LNG export revenue could hinge on the weather.

“EnergyQuest estimates 2021 export revenue for the Queensland LNG industry of around $10.0 billion, although much will depend on the kind of winter in the northern hemisphere,” the report stated.

Overall, LNG production in 2021 is predicted to increase slightly to about 80 Mt, marginally up on the federal government’s 79 Mt forecast in Resource and Energy Quarterly.

As the push toward renewables continues to increase, coal still remains Queenslands and the nations dominant fuel with a 67 per cent market share.

According to data from BP, Australia is the fifth most reliant nation on coal for power generation behind South Africa, Poland, India and Kazakhstan, the report stated.

The shift toward renewables was reflected in Queensland’s National Energy Market NEM data.

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Liquefied Natural Gas ship Seri Bakti departs Santos' Gladstone LNG plant on Queensland's Curtis Island.
Liquefied Natural Gas ship Seri Bakti departs Santos' Gladstone LNG plant on Queensland's Curtis Island.

Queensland consumed 31 per cent of NEM generation, just behind NSW which consumed 33 per cent.

Of the energy consumed by Queenslanders, 24 per cent was generated by coal, 3 per cent by gas, and two per cent each by solar farms and rooftop solar.

In comparison to 2019 across Queensland, this equalled a 3 per cent reduction in coal generated power consumed, while gas generated power consumed was up 5 per cent and rooftop solar up by 18 per cent.

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