LNG is here to stay in Queensland

THE Queensland drop in small to medium business confidence has not filtered through to the billion dollar liquefied natural gas industry.

Australia Pacific LNG chief Page Maxson told a group of industry leaders he did not believe Queensland was a risky place to do business.

"In the scheme of the world (Queensland has) really got a less risk than a lot of places and then a lot of the same risks the others have," he said.

Mr Maxson, who has worked in the US, Norway and Indonesia, joined Santos and QGC to discuss the burgeoning LNG industry's future at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Although the latest Sensis Business Index survey of small to medium companies showed Queensland's business confidence had slumped, the future is rosy for three big LNG players.

QGC is already exporting LNG, and Santos and APLNG will soon follow.

Project management company Bechtel has found the $60 billion in investments at Curtis Island, off Gladstone, is the largest concentration of private capital in Australia's history.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief technical officer Rick Wilkinson said when all three LNG projects were fully operational they would produce more export revenue than all of Australia's beef and wheat exports.

"On its own, Curtis Island would rank in the top 10 of Australia's exports," he said.

But Santos Queensland vice president Trevor Brown said it had been a tough road and the crowd of sceptics had been strong only five years ago.

The power of information and industrial technology combined, along with getting costs and risks right were named as tools to remain competitive in a world where a plummeting oil price was placing strain on the industry.

"We need to be globally efficient and competitive," Mr Brown said.

"That means everything, from the regulators, the operators, the whole supply chain."

- APN NEWSDESK



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