Australia's OECD LNG victory

QATAR has upped the rhetoric in dominating the LNG world as the International Energy Agency confirmed Australia has already overtaken the Gulf state while the US has dropped off the pace.
Australia's OECD LNG victory Australia's OECD LNG victory Australia's OECD LNG victory Australia's OECD LNG victory Australia's OECD LNG victory

Qatar Petroleum offshore station.

The news came just as Western Australia's government announced record LNG sales.
 
The government said this morning that produced LNG volumes reached a record 28.7 million tonnes, following the start-up of Chevron's Gorgon LNG project and record production from the North West Shelf and Pluto LNG projects.
 
WA's LNG volumes have increased by 45% in the past five years. 
 
Meanwhile the IEA, which just released the 20th edition of its Key Energy Statistics, the "energy sector bible", said overnight that global LNG trade continued to ramp up last year, with "Australia replacing Qatar as the largest LNG supplier to OECD Asia".
 
Among non-OECD countries Qatar, the fifth-largest producer of natural gas, showed a small increase of 0.8% in 2016, adding 1.3 billion cubic metres, while Algeria led the non-OECD increase, supplying 8.4Bcm more than 2015 levels ramping up to 92.4Bcm last year.
 
Australia continued the growth it showed last year, with more LNG exports commissioned in 2016 which boost production by 21Bcm, making it the world's 10th largest gas producer.
 
After increasing production by 47.8Bcm and 33.1Bcm in 2014 and 2015, the US' gas production fell last year by 17.3Bcm, the first annual drop since the start of the shale gas revolution.
 
As the world's top-five gas producing nations, the US, Russia, Iran, Canada and Qatar represented 53.2% of the world's output.
 
The IEA said that while Qatar is still the main LNG supplier for the OECD, it is no longer the main supplier of OECD Asia Oceania after being surpassed by Australia, the second-largest source of LNG for the total OECD.
 
Australia hit another milestone last year in supplying to the OECD Americas - specifically, Mexico - showing its increasing relevance in the global LNG market. 
 
Many other new routes appeared in the LNG trade last year as the US, which became a net LNG exporter in 2016, supplying 5.3Bcm to more than 13 destinations. 
 
In a continuing sign of optimism for the LNG sector and for the next wave of Australia's investment, the IEA confirmed that non-OECD countries continued importing more LNG than previous years, accounting for a third of global imports. 
 
Since 2006, when OECD countries represented 90.3% of the total market, China and India pushed non-OECD LNG imports to grow at an average rate of 18.3% a year. 
 
Last year, those two giants imported 5.9Bcm and 4.8Bcm of LNG more than in 2015 and were the world's third and fourth largest LNG importers respectively.
 
LNG imports also increased in Africa and the Middle East, mainly in Egypt (+3Bcm), Jordan (+1.2Bcm) and the United Arab Emirates (+500MMcm); while imports from Qatar to non-OECD countries rose by about 8.1Bcm in 2016. 
 
As the world awaits LNG from Wheatstone in Western Australia and Inpex's Ichthys in Darwin, Qatar Petroleum CEO and president Eng Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said his country would keep its position as the world's largest LNG producer.
 
"There is an expansion of our investments inside and outside Qatar," he said during a lecture at Qatar University, pointing to growing global demand for gas.
 
The CEOs of ExxonMobil, Shell and Total had reportedly been lobbying Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in July before the country announced a plan to raise LNG output by 30%.
 
As for that demand the QP CEO spoke of, the IEA said globally it rose by 2.7% last year to 3.648Bcm.
 
Yet while the glut remains, LNG prices remain subdued, generally dropping across all regions, particularly in the US (-44.7%).
 
After converging in 2014, LNG prices in Europe and the US remained in line again last year while in Japan and Korea the gas between their LNG import prices and those for the US and Europe continued to narrow.
 
The IEA partially attributed that convergence to the ramp up in global liquefaction capacity, particularly in Australia.
 
Reuters had reported earlier this week that the Asia Venture LNG tanker initially headed for Wheatstone with a due date of September 24 had been diverted toward the port of Dampier on September 21, indicating fresh export delays.
 
However, Energy News understands Chevron has a number of LNG vessels to service our LNG business and it is not uncommon for them to be based off Dampier while they await loading slots from the likes of Gorgon or the North West Shelf.
 
Chevron says the start-up of the Wheatstone project is progressing, with Train 1 close to first LNG production.