Both Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and WA Resources Minister John Bowler agreed the Guangdong-bound cargo, part of a 25-year export deal worth $A25 billion between China and the North West Shelf Joint Venture, was one example of the growing prospects for LNG out of the two jurisdictions.
Macfarlane was in Darwin last week for a meeting with major resource companies, including ConocoPhillips, before chairing a meeting of all state and territory energy ministers.
“While the North West Shelf tends to get all the headlines, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Darwin plant will export 3 million tonnes of LNG per year to Japan under long-term contracts,” Macfarlane said in a statement.
“The ConocoPhillips-operated LNG plant at Darwin has added a new dimension to Australia’s LNG export industry, with the Northern Territory set to benefit substantially from the future development of offshore gas resources in the region.”
Macfarlane added that scope existed to expand the plant’s capacity to process gas from undeveloped gas discoveries such as Greater Sunrise, Evans Shoals and Caldita.
“On top of that, the Northern Territory economy will benefit from the soon to be developed Blacktip gas field, located in the Bonaparte Gulf, which will provide long-term supply to the Darwin domestic gas market,” he said.
He described the NT as a “quiet but significant player” in the regional LNG scene, before adding that it also had the potential to become a key supplier of domestic gas needs.
“As international LNG buyers look to diversify the source of their gas contracts, I suspect more and more will consider buying out of the Northern Territory which offers a secure and reliable long-term supply of LNG,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bowler who was in Esperance for a regional investment tour last week, pointed to WA’s increasing potential as a major LNG exporter. He said most of the world’s top publicly listed petroleum companies already had representation in WA.
“The state’s unprecedented growth has made it a global centre for the petroleum industry,” Bowler said.
“Our service capabilities are highly sought after in the global, and particularly the Asian, market.