Australia is on track to surpass Qatar as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, according to Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science (Diis).
Australia already surpasses Qatar in LNG export capacity and exported more LNG than Qatar in November 2018 and April 2019, Kallanish Energy reports. Within the next year, as Australia’s newly commissioned projects ramp up and operate at full capacity, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects Australia to consistently export more LNG than Qatar.
Australia’s LNG export capacity increased from 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2011, to more than 11.4 Bcf/d in 2019. Australia’s Diis forecasts Australian LNG exports will grow to 10.8 Bcf/d by 2020–21 once the recently commissioned Wheatstone, Ichthys, and Prelude floating LNG (Flng) projects ramp up to full production.
Prelude FLNG, a barge located offshore in northwestern Australia, was the last of the eight new LNG export projects that came online in Australia in 2012 through 2018, as part of a major LNG capacity buildout.
Starting in 2012, five LNG export projects were developed in northwestern Australia: onshore projects Pluto, Gorgon, Wheatstone, and Ichthys, and the offshore Prelude FLNG. The total LNG export capacity in northwestern Australia is now 8.1 Bcf/d.
China has a lot of alternatives to importing American LNG. Taking the largest LNG market out of play will up the competition for other markets. If we loose India, US LNG exporters will be in a bind.