Australia formally becomes world’s #1 LNG exporter in 2019

Australia has officially become the world’s largest exporter of LNG on an annualised basis.

In sending overseas an estimated record 77.514 million tonnes (Mt) of locally produced LNG in calendar 2019, Australia edged out former No. 1 LNG export titleholder Qatar, expected to produce 75 Mt in 2019.

The 2019 Australian LNG exports were more than twice those of the United States, the world’s other fast-growing LNG producer. The US Energy Information Administration expects the US to have exported 34.3 Mt in 2019.

The Australian contribution came from across all three now fully established LNG hubs at Karratha in Western Australia, Gladstone in central Queensland and Darwin in the Northern Territory, home of both the Ichthys and Darwin LNG projects.

The total Australian 2019 LNG shipments were up by 11.4% on 2018, primarily due to the growth in production from the Ichthys project, operated by Japan’s INPEX. 

Western Australian production was steady on 2018 and Queensland production was up by 8.2% to 22.4 Mt, with both APLNG and QCLNG operating at close to full capacity.

EnergyQuest estimates that the average 2019 LNG export price was A$11.41 per gigajoule (GJ), well above WA domestic gas prices of below A$4.00/GJ.

On the east coast, the Wallumbilla average gas price fell from A$8.95/GJ in 2018 to A$8.15/GJ in 2019 and as of 1 January, 2020, has eased even further to A$5.00/GJ.

Dr Bethune said EnergyQuest analysts estimated total 2019 LNG export revenue was A$49.0 billion, up from $43.3 billion in 2018 and A$9.4 billion a decade ago in 2010 at the start of the Australian LNG development boom.

The detailed release can be downloaded below.

EnergyQuest is an Australian-based energy consultancy specialising in independent energy market analysis and strategy. You can follow Australian LNG with EnergyQuest’s Monthly LNG Report. Details are available here: