Gladstone LNG exports drop in 2022

LNG exports from the Gladstone port in Australia’s Queensland dropped by about 3.5 percent in 2022 due to lower volumes going to China, according to Gladstone Ports Corporation.

During the January-December period last year, about 22.64 million tonnes of LNG or 354 cargoes left the three Gladstone terminals on Curtis Island.

This compares to 23.47 million tonnes or 358 cargoes in 2021, GPC’s data shows.

LNG exports also dropped from 2.01 million tonnes or 31 cargoes in December 2021 to 1.84 million tonnes or 29 cargoes last month.

Chinese LNG volumes down

According to the data, the three Gladstone LNG plants sent 12.38 million tonnes to China in 2022, down by 20.8 percent when compared to 15.64 million tonnes in the year before.

China’s LNG imports dropped last year mainly due to very high spot LNG prices and Covid lockdowns, which affected economic activity.

On the other hand, South Korean volumes rose from 3.64 million tonnes in 2021 to 3.84 million tonnes last year while supplies to Japan almost doubled to 2.66 million tonnes last year compared to 1.41 million tonnes in 2021, GPC’s data shows.

Gladstone supplies to Malaysia also increased to 2.22 million tonnes when compared to 1.86 million tonnes in 2021 while volumes to Singapore rose to 1.27 million tonnes from 838,309 tonnes.

Curtis Island is home to the Santos-operated GLNG plant, the ConocoPhillips-led APLNG terminal, and Shell’s QCLNG facility. These are the only LNG export facilities on Australia’s east coast.

Australian LNG exports

Consultancy EnergQuest said this week that Australian LNG export revenue rose 86 percent year-on-year in 2022 to a new record high due to higher oil and spot LNG prices.

The consultancy said in its monthly report it estimates that Australian LNG export revenue reached A$92.8 billion ($63.2 billion) last year.

Based on vessel tracking data, EnergyQuest estimates that Australian LNG exports reached a new record of 81.4 million tonnes (Mt) in 2022, up slightly from 81.1 Mt the previous calendar year.

The bulk of Australia’s LNG exports continues to come from Western Australia and the Northern Territory, comprising 71 percent of exports in 2022 and up by 2.1 percent on the previous year.

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