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Australia LNG exports up 6.6% in October

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Prashant Mehra

Australia's liquefied natural gas exports have risen 6.6 per cent in October to 4.3 million tonnes, according to estimates by consultancy EnergyQuest.

The growth in volumes has been underpinned by many Australian LNG projects now performing above nameplate capacity, and was led by a particularly strong performance by projects on the west coast, EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said.

Combined with higher oil prices, the consultancy has estimated the value of LNG exports in October was at least $1.75 billion, the best performance in 22 months.

Western Australian projects shipped 2.4 million tonnes or 36 cargoes, up from 2.2 million tonnes or 33 cargoes in September. This reflected higher output at Woodside Petroleum's Pluto LNG project, the Chevron-operated Gorgon project and ConocoPhillips-run Darwin LNG.

On the east coast, energy giant Santos' Gladstone LNG project shipped one cargo less than in September for a total of 1.5 million tonnes.

Most of the shipments went to long-term buyers in China, Japan and Korea. A single cargo was also headed to Mexico.

LNG spot prices in Asia have rebounded to their highest this year at more than $US7 per million British Thermal Units (MBtu), EnergyQuest said.

Australia is on track to overtake Qatar as the largest LNG exporter in 2018, with more than $200 billion invested in large LNG projects over the past decade.

With most supplies contracted to overseas buyers, the country has seen a surge in gas prices in the domestic market.

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