The first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has left Santos’ $18.5 billion GLNG Project bound for South Korea.
A statement released by Santos today announced the first shipment, which is being carried by Malaysian-owned LNG vessel Seri Bakti.
It comes more than four years after construction on the GLNG Project first began in 2011 and marks a final milestone for outgoing Santos managing director David Knox.
Mr Knox, during a press conference at the GLNG site today, expressed his pride in reaching the first shipment “on time and within budget.”
“The first cargo from GLNG strengthens our position as a major and competitive LNG supplier to Asia,” he said.
According to Santos, which holds a 30 per cent interest in the project alongside co-venture partners PETRONAS (27.5 per cent), Total (27.5 per cent) and KOGAS (15 per cent), it took more than 95 million work hours to complete the GLNG construction.
“More than 10,000 people have worked on the project which saw more than $15 billion invested Australia-wide, including $8 billion in Queensland alone,” today’s statement said.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO Malcolm Roberts said today’s event was another reminder that Australia is on track to become the world’s leading LNG producer by 2018.
“While the oil and gas industry faces the same headwinds as other commodities, we are resilient enough to fend off the latest industry challenges,” Dr Roberts said.
“The International Energy Agency predicts the world gas market could grow by around 30 per cent by 2030. Other producers are emerging. Our challenge now is to stay competitive.”
Production from the first GLNG train commenced in September with Train 2 expected to be ready for start-up by the end of the year.
The GLNG Project produces natural gas from Queensland’s coal seams in the Surat and Bowen Basins and converts it into LNG at its Curtis Island plant, 420 kilometres away.
Five more LNG projects valued at $160 billion are also slated for near-term completion, including Queensland’s Australia Pacific LNG project, which is expected to be commissioned by year’s end.
In 2014-15, Australia shipped 25 million tonnes of LNG cargoes, earning $16.9 billion in export revenue. In Queensland alone, almost $1.4 billion worth of LNG has been exported this year.