Australian LNG

Australian LNG has a long history of pioneering investment. From the North West shelf to the first floating LNG project ever constructed.

Like other Australian commodities this history aligns with that of development economics of Asia. The first wave of Australian LNG development grew to service a modernising Japan and its demand for energy.  This bilateral relationship has a long history of cordial relations, share-equity investment and oil-linked contract pricing to satisfy both parties.

The second wave of Australian LNG was far more chaotic, matching the staggeringly swift rise of the much larger Chinese economy. It began along with the pre-GFC oil boom and Malthusian assumption that the world was going to fall short of everything as the enormous Chinese and then Indian middle classes ballooned and consumed more energy per capita.

Multitudinous LNG projects were sanctioned in Australia which found itself by 2010 developing no fewer than seven LNG project simultaneously. Needless to say this did not end well with gigantic cost blowouts for all as they competed for labour and other resources.

Yet, as the commodity super cycle peaked in 2011, demand suddenly fell well short of expectations and kept doing so over the next four years. Making matters worse, the US shale revolution suddenly turned that nation from net LNG importer to net exporter of a magnitude equal to Australian LNG. The global glut from 2015 was enormous.

The Australian LNG boom included a particularly cavalier offshoot in QLD where coal seam gas was liquefied via three projects on Curtis Island. As the boom subsided, and oil-linked prices crashed, the companies involved were all either sold or destroyed.

The legacy left by the projects was one of very high Australian gas prices with very low Asian gas prices, also delivering an huge blow to the competitiveness of the east coast economy. Thus the $200bn investment proved to be the greatest single capital mis-allocation in the history of the Australian economy (and surely global energy markets) and was little more than a monument to Banana Republic economics as tax takes failed, income fell and hollowing out transpired on raised local costs.

MacroBusiness was the only analytic house to call the Australian LNG bubble early, track it and predict its demise. It continues to cover the LNG sector with daily updates and a large grain skepticism and is a must read for anyone that needs to know the economic forces coming to bear on the sector.

Also check – Daily Iron Ore Price, Australian Dollar

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Energy lunacy marches on

Via the AFR: Energy producers and investors are regarding a possible Labor government after next year’s general election as offering the prospect of a defined energy policy that, while potentially tougher for the industry in some areas, will at least bring an end to what some have described as “almost uninvestable” situation under the Morrison

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The Australian gas crisis redux

From Oxford Economics: In 2017, a gas crisis emerged in Australia’s East Coast gas market. Gas prices had increased rapidly from mid-2016 as the full effect of the three LNG projects starting operations on Curtis Island worked through the gas market, putting domestic energy users under pressure. In March 2017, the Australian Energy Market Operator

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The hole in Labor’s energy donut

Via The Australian: The nation’s largest single electricity user has questioned how it will keep power running at its Tomago aluminium smelter under Labor’s 45 per cent emissions reduction target and ­$10 billion plan to turbo-charge investment in renewables, declaring that “batteries are not a solution”. …Energy Minister Angus Taylor warned yesterday that hundreds of

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Labor to offer a battery for every household! Sort of

Via the ABC: Australian households will be offered federal rebates to install solar storage batteries under a federal Labor energy policy that will also direct billions of taxpayer dollars at solar, wind and hydro projects. Though Mr Shorten is likely to frame ALP adoption of the NEG as an attempt to find common ground with

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The astounding US LNG pipeline

And we thought our LNG boom was big. Via Reuters: U.S. liquefied natural gas company Tellurian Inc said on Wednesday it expects to start construction on its Driftwood LNG export terminal in Louisiana in the first half of 2019 and begin operations in 2023. Chief Executive Meg Gentle said in the company’s third-quarter earnings that

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Some taxes for the gas cartel!

A moderate victory over the gas cartel at Domainfax: Oil and gas giants will be hit with a $6 billion tax hike over the next decade following years of concern that Australia has been hemorrhaging lucrative revenue to multinationals. The decision was made after an 18-month wait for the Coalition’s response to a landmark review into

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Japan breaks LNG deals so Straya can import its own gas!

Exciting news via Platts: On October 22, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry unveiled a model clause that can be used by LNG buyers to remove destination restrictions from long-term contracts. Such restrictions have become more relaxed in renegotiations of LNG contracts or in new contracts among market players, Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy,

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Fossil fuels just love Mike Cannon-Brookes

Via AFR: Mike Cannon-Brookes’ campaign to reclaim the phrase “fair dinkum power” from Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been swamped with offers of support, and the Atlassian billionaire is in the process of registering a trademark for a logo to promote renewable energy. Mr Cannon-Brookes said he had had hundreds of tweets and emails expressing

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Limits to LNG prices

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies has an in-depth piece out on the cost of LNG plants, looking in detail at the drop in LNG construction costs and how maintainable the falls are in construction costs: As you can see, the Australian plants dominate the top of the cost table, with many of the more recent plants

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Labor to revive hideous NEG

Via The Australian: Labor will take the National Energy Guarantee — devised by Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg — to the next election as its preferred mechanism for reducing emissions. It will scale up the target in the NEG to meet its goal of reducing emissions by 45 per cent. Opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler