BRISBANE (Reuters) – Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Australia – the world’s biggest LNG exporter – now appear “highly realistic” as the country struggles to fill a looming gas shortage, U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday. The assessment will add to the sense of urgency in the industry, which experts say needs at least A$10 billion ($6.9 billion) in new developments to meet longer term gas demand and bring down high prices that are crippling many manufacturers. As recently as a year ago, many thought importing LNG to Australia would be irrational, but shortages are expected as soon as 2022 and there are now five import proposals on the table, including one from ExxonMobil. “Just given the nature of growth in demand and where the outlook for supply is, at least for a period LNG import terminals look highly realistic,” Exxon Mobil’s new chairman for Australia, Nathan Fay, told an industry conference. Exxon Mobil and its partner BHP Group are the dominant suppliers into the southeastern gas market, and imports would be complementary to further development of offshore fields in the Gippsland Basin, Fay said. The start-up of three LNG export plants in northeastern Australia… continue reading
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