The first tanker to ship LNG from the Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia is due to arrive before Christmas, signalling exports from the project to Asia are about to begin.
The ship, BG-owned Methane Rita Andrea, is approaching Gladstone, in Queensland, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. BG expects the plant, the world’s first large-scale project to turn coalbed methane (CBM) into LNG, will begin by the end of the year, the company reiterated today.
BG’s QCLNG development is preparing to supply customers, including China National Offshore Oil Corp., as tumbling oil prices continue to eat into industry profits.
The QCLNG project is set to become the first of seven Australian LNG developments under construction to start production. Two more projects hoping to convert CBM from Australian coal seams and turn it into LNG before export are due to come online before 2H15.
Bloomberg said that these LNG projects will put Australia ahead of Qatar as the world’s biggest exporter of the fuel by the end of the decade.
“The start of the project is important for BG, and it’s important for Queensland,” Graeme Bethune, CEO of EnergyQuest, an Adelaide-based consulting firm, said.
The Australian LNG plants have also grappled with high costs. BG in 2012 said the bill for its project jumped 36%
Despite the cost overrun, “it’s amazing that the company has been able to build a completely new project using a new feedstock” and start production about four years after approving the plant in 2010, Bethune said.
Energy traders have been closely watching developments at BG’s CBM to LNG project. Interest has been peaked because no one has ever marketed CBM LNG in the spot market.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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