According to The Australian Financial Review today, the sailing of the first liquefied natural gas shipment from Santos' $US18.5 billion GLNG venture has marked another milestone in the emergence of Queensland as one of the world's biggest gas exporters.
The Seri Bakti, carrying a cargo worth about $40 million, sailed from Curtis Island in Gladstone harbour on Friday morning, starting a 10-day journey to Incheon in South Korea. The LNG buyer, Korea Gas Corporation, the world's biggest importer of the fuel, is a 15 per cent owner of the GLNG venture.
Santos reported the start-up of production from the first of two LNG production trains at the GLNG venture last month, and has been preparing the first cargo for about two weeks. Once the second production unit starts up, in 6-9 months' time, and the plant is fully operational, it is set to load two ships a week on average.
The GLNG venture is the second of three huge coal seam gas-based LNG projects in Queensland to start production this year following BG Group's Queensland Curtis project, which made its first shipment in January and has now exported 50 cargoes. The third project, Origin Energy's $24.7 billion Australia Pacific LNG project is due to begin production within weeks.
The three projects, representing a total $80 billion of investment, are however beginning production in one of the most severe downturns in world energy markets seen for years, after the slump in crude oil prices last year. The dive in prices has slashed expected revenues for the owners of the plants and will reduce state and federal royalties and revenues.
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