Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up

GLOBAL expenditure on LNG infrastructure will grow to $US50 billion in 2016 driven by activity in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report.
Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up Australasia the focus as LNG spending ramps up

Douglas Westwood's World LNG Market Forecast 2012-2016 estimates global capital expenditure will be $169 billion from 2012 to 2016, with spending growing significantly each year.

"Asia will be the main driver in import terminal developments, and is forecast to invest $31 billion during this period," report author Murray Dormer said.

"The global LNG business will see growth and recovery in a number of sectors. Expenditure on liquefaction facilities will exhibit the highest level growth in global expenditure over the forecast period, a large proportion of which will come from Australian developments.

"Furthermore, growing demand for import terminals will see regasification capex increase to represent 20 per cent of global expenditure.

"Following a sharp decline through 2010-11, the LNG carrier market will begin to recover from 2012 onwards with capex expected to be over $30 billion."

The report says Australia will dominate Australasian expenditure during this

period; investing around $60 billion, while Papua New Guinea will also see development as the country moves towards its first LNG terminal in 2014.

It says Asia will drive import demand, representing 78% of import terminal capex.

The seven LNG export projects under construction in Australia are expected onstream in 2014-17 and will provide an additional 49 million tonnes per annum capacity, the report says.

"Notably, Australia can contribute a further 46% capacity with a number of potential projects to come onstream beyond the forecast period," Dormer said.

The report notes a "potential downside" to the use of coal seam gas as feedstock for some of the projects is that it has never been liquefied into LNG on such a scale.

"Issues with production such as cost, application or practicality may reduce the level of anticipated supply," Dormer said.

Australia is also a key focus for floating LNG developments.

"Australasia was the first region in the world with an approved FLNG liquefaction project - Shell's 3.6MMtpa Prelude floater, which is expected to be onstream in 2017," Dormer said.

"Offshore gas fields and deep subsea trenches such as the Timor Sea Trench which render pipelines impractical make this region a key focus area for FLNG project developers.

"Other FLNG prospects in this region include GDF Suez/Santos' Bonaparte development; PTT's plans to monetise its Cash and Maple fields and Woodside's Sunrise project."

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