A look at Western Australia
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a significant industry for Western Australia, with production increasing substantially over several years. In 2016-17 sales volumes reached 28.7 billion tonnes generating sales of $12.7 billion. LNG accounts for 66 per cent of all Western Australian petroleum sales.
LNG is currently produced from four projects in Western Australia: the North West Shelf Joint Venture project, Woodside’s Pluto project (first LNG in mid-2012), the Gorgon Gas project (first LNG in 2016), and the Wheatstone project, which shipped its first LNG in October of 2017. Western Australia is also home to Shell’s Prelude Floating LNG Project.
Australia’s LNG export volumes will be driven by increased production at Gorgon, as well as the completion of the remaining LNG projects under construction — Wheatstone, Ichthys and Prelude. These three projects will add around 21 million tonnes to Australia’s LNG export capacity, bringing total nameplate capacity to around 88 million tonnes.
LNG is a natural gas that is converted into a liquid by cooling to around -162 degrees Celsius. Odourless and colourless, LNG is predominantly used for residential, industrial and commercial heating, and vehicle fuel.
Qatar currently leads the world’s exports, however Australia is expected to overtake Qatar in the coming years with the completion of the three major LNG projects in 2018.
Japan, South Korea and China are expected to be the major destinations for the State’s LNG exports. While prospects for growth in the imports of Japan and South Korea are limited, Western Australian producers are expected to capture an increasing share of both country’s imports.
More detailed information about the performance of WA’s LNG sector, and other commodities, can be found in the Western Australian Mineral and Petroleum Statistics Digest or in the latest resource data files.