An aerial view of the three LNG projects on Curtis Island all with ships at their jetties.
An aerial view of the three LNG projects on Curtis Island all with ships at their jetties. Ashley Roach - Fullframe Photogr

Record month for Curtis Island LNG exports

HIGH oil prices have continued to fuel record growth in Curtis Island's LNG exports.

Exports reached another high last month, with gas market analysts estimating about 1.8 million tonnes were shipped overseas out of Gladstone's ports.

Revenues from the bumper month are set to total about $840 million, up from $780 million in October, according to advisory firm EnergyQuest.

Chief executive Graeme Bethune said crude oil prices were a significant factor behind the jump in exports.

"It's full steam ahead," Mr Bethune said.

"2015 and 2016 were different to previous years because of a big fall in oil prices... but it's up into $60-plus territory now.

"What we're seeing is a resurgence in activity."

Friday's news that QLCNG had inked a 27-year supply agreement with Shell-PetroChina joint venture Arrow Energy is also set to boost confidence in the industry.

Arrow's Surat Basin gas fields are among the largest on the east coast, making up about 12.5 per cent of Queensland's reserves.

"(27 years) is an extraordinarily long period," Mr Bethune said.

"The only reason they would sign such a deal is because they believe there's a long-term future in export- ing LNG from Gladstone, which I'd agree with.

"The whole thing's a huge vote of confidence.

"I think it's positive for Gladstone and positive for the Surat."

Mr Bethune said Shell and PetroChina had spent about $6 billion for "very little return" so far. "This shows they're sticking to it and they're rolling out their cheque books," he said.

While most of the jobs created by the deal will be based in the Surat Basin, Mr Bethune said the project locked in certainty for employees on Curtis Island.

"What it means is there's an assured supply of gas for QCLNG," he said.

"APLNG also has very substantial reserves of its own, and GLNG has a lot of external gas supply deals... they're upping their drilling very substantially."



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