Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas chilled to -161ºC so that it becomes a liquid.
Once it has been liquefied, the methane takes up much less space. Because LNG occupies about 1/600 the space of methane in its gaseous form, it can be exported in purpose-built tanker ships.
LNG is driving an unprecedented level of investment in Australia and the use of CSG in LNG operations has created a new export industry in Queensland.
Australia has six operating LNG projects.
The newest of these are Queensland Curtis LNG, Gladstone LNG and Australia Pacific LNG on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone, Queensland.
Queensland Curtis LNG was the world’s first CSG-to-LNG project. Its first cargo was loaded in late December 2014 and left Australia in early January 2015.
Gladstone LNG produced its first gas in September 2015 and shipped its first cargo the following month.
Australia Pacific LNG produced its first gas in December 2015.
Another four LNG projects are now under development. These projects represent a total investment of more than $135 billion.
In Queensland and across Australia, the LNG industry is already creating thousands of jobs.
It is delivering major export income and tax revenue for Australia, as well as cleaner energy for Asia.
In 2013, Australia shipped 24 million tonnes of LNG cargoes, earning $16.4 billion in export revenue. Australian LNG exports are expected to more than triple over the next few years and by 2018, Australia is forecast to overtake Qatar as the world’s number one producer of LNG.
Queensland Curtis LNG – a project of QGC Pty Ltd (a Royal Dutch Shell business)
Major customers: China, Japan, Singapore and Chile
Capital cost: A$23.7 billion
First LNG production: December 2014
Gladstone LNG – a joint venture of Santos, Petronas, Total and Kogas
Major customers: Malaysia and South Korea
Capital cost: A$21.53 billion
First LNG production: September 2015
Australia Pacific LNG – a joint venture of Origin Energy, Conoco Phillips and Sinopec
Major customers: China and Japan
Capital cost: A$24.7 billion
First LNG production: December 2015