The Strategist

ExxonMobil may start import of LNG to Australia

06/18/2018 - 15:27

ExxonMobil Corp, the largest gas supplier in southeastern Australia, is considering a possibility of opening of LNG (liquefied natural gas) import to overcome the impending shortage of gas from 2021 and keep its share in the market, Reuters reports.

Minale Tattersfield via flickr
Minale Tattersfield via flickr
AGL Energy, the second largest energy seller in Australia, plans to open LNG import by 2021. A consortium involving Japanese JERA will start importing from 2020.

ExxonMobil is also stepping up exploration off the coast of Victoria. The company is considering a possibility of developing a gas field called West Barracouta next to the existing field.

The company declined to comment on the Macquarie analysts' estimate in the Australian newspaper, according to which it could build import facilities for about AUD $ 100 million ($ 74 million), less than half the estimated value of the two competing LNG import plans.

Many predict that Australia will bypass Qatar and become the largest exporter of LNG in the world either by the end of this year or next year.

However, local gas supplies are threatened by declining production and long-term export contracts.

In March, the Australian energy market operator warned that Victoria, which is leading in gas consumption in the country, may face a deficit in the middle of 2021 due to the rapid drop in supplies from Gippsland Basin Joint Venture owned by ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton.

It is expected that production in the Gippsland Basin, which was the main gas source for the state in the last 50 years, will be halved by 2022 compared to 2018.