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APLNG begins LNG production on Curtis Island

Published by
World Coal,

Australia Pacific LNG has started production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its facility on Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia. It marks the final stage of the project before exports begin by the end of the year.

“The production of first LNG marks a successful commissioning and start-up phase of the LNG facility by downstream operator ConocoPhillips and contractor, Bechtel,” said Page Maxson, Australia Pacific LNG’s CEO. “As we continue to cool down the facility and produce LNG, we are well placed to export our first LNG cargo in coming weeks.”

Australia Pacific LNG produces natural gas from Australia’s largest proven and probable coalbed methane (CBM; known as coal seam gas in Australia) reserves in the Surat and Bowen Basins in Queensland. The CBM is piped via a 530 km transmission pipeline to the LNG facility on Curtis Island where it is converted to LNG for export to customers in Asia.

Australia Pacific LNG is a joint venture between ConocoPhilips, Origin Energy, which manages the upstream operations, and Chinese oil and gas producer, Sinopec.

“More than seven years of activity, 15 000 workers, as well as the support of many landowners in the Surat and Bowen Basins, have helped Australian Pacific LNG reach this important point in its history,” said Origin CEO Integrated Gas, David Baldwin.

“The Origin-operated upstream activities […] are fully operational and performing well and Origin, together with partners ConocoPhilips and Sinopec, are now focused on achieving first export.”

The Australia Pacific LNG project is the latest CBM-to-LNG projects to come online in Queensland after Queensland Curtis LNG, a subsidiary of BG Group, began commercial operations from the second train of its LNG plant last month and announced an AUS$1.7 billion investment in its gas extraction operations in the Surat Basin.

According to the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, the Queensland LNG industry is worth AUS$80 billion. But it is not without its challenges as it faces a prolonged slump in global LNG prices, as well as political pressure over its treatment of landowners in the regions where gas is extracted.

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