Australia`s Natural Gas Resource
With huge untapped reserves of Natural Gas, Australian gas is in demand. Of all the different fuel types, natural gas offers the best combination of cleanness, affordability, reliability and flexibility and underpins growing domestic and international production sectors.
Natural gas is also known as methane (CH4 – a chemical combination of Carbon and Hydrogen). It is found in several different types of rocks, including sandstone, coal seams and shales.
Australia is the world`s fifth largest Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) exporter with Japan being the primary importer followed by China, Taiwan, South Korea and India.
Australia`s rapidly expanding gas industry is driving enormous investment, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in gas and delivering more than $7 billion a year in tax revenue. In 2011, Australian LNG cargoes earned $11.1 billion in export revenue. Australia`s LNG exports are expected to increase 400 percent over the next five years.
Australia has an estimated 400 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves (enough to power a city of 1 million people for 8000 years). Geologists are optimistic that exploration will uncover more gas to add to this base.
Natural gas is now the third largest global energy source and accounts for around 21 per cent of energy consumption worldwide.
Existing Australian gas projects and LNG projects under construction
The North West Shelf Venture (WA) began production in 1989. Since then, the project has expanded to include five trains (a train is a production unit). In it’s entirety, the North West Shelf project today produces up to 16.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG with an investment cost of some $50 billion.
In Darwin LNG production started back in 2006 with a one train project producing up to 3.5 million tonnes of gas per annum.
Pluto started production in April 2012. It has one 4.3mtpa production train.
There are 7 large Australian LNG projects currently at various stages of construction and development. Gorgon, Prelude, Wheatstone and Ichthys are gas fields off the north coast of Western Australia, with an additional three in Queensland (Queensland Curtis LNG, Gladstone LNG and Australia Pacific LNG).
All up, Australia has over$200 billion worth of LNG projects under construction at this time. The LNG sector in Australia has enjoyed phenomenal growth and the future looks very promising indeed, creating the opportunity for even more jobs in gas for those people who have the skills and qualifications.
Reference: Australian Gas | LNG projects in Australia