CANBERRA: The Australian government has bumped up its forecast for LNG exports for fiscal 2016-2017 (July-June) to 52.4 million mt, and given an estimate for 2017-2018 of 67.3 million mt, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science said Monday in its Resources and Energy Quarterly. In its previous quarterly report, the department had the forecast for fiscal 2016-2017 at 51.50 million mt.
A rise to 67.3 million mt in fiscal 2017-2018 would be an 82.4% spike from the 36.9 million mt shipped in fiscal 2015-2016. “The four LNG projects currently under construction are expected to commence production by mid-2018, bringing Australia’s LNG export capacity to around 87 million [mt],” the report said. “However, some uncertainty surrounds the timing of Shell’s Prelude project in the Browse Basin, where start up could be complicated by the cyclone season — which runs from November to April,” the report added. Increased exports to Japan, South Korea and China are expected to drive the rise in Australia’s export volumes. “Australian producers are expected to capture an increasing share of these countries’ imports with the commencement of a number of long-term contracts over the outlook period [over 2017-2018],” the department said.