EnergyQuest has published its Australian LNG Monthly for December 2020. Some of the highlights for the month are as follows:
Australian LNG shipments in December 2020 were lower compared with November 2020, primarily due to decreased production at the Ichthys, Gorgon and Wheatstone projects.
Australian projects shipped 6.5 million tonnes (Mt) (96 cargoes) in December, compared with 6.9 Mt (101 cargoes) in November. The monthly record for shipments was 7.1 Mt in December 2019.
Australia’s December shipments were 77 Mtpa on an annualised basis.
East coast projects again shipped a record 2.186 Mt (33 cargoes) in December – passing the record set in November of 2.126 Mt. The east coast projects operated at 102 per cent of nameplate capacity during December. EnergyQuest highlights that this is the third month in a row the east coast projects have produced at record levels, and the second month in a row they have exceeded nameplate capacity.
Cargo delays subsided considerably during December. EnergyQuest estimates only nine Australian cargoes have been delayed for more than three days awaiting final destination orders during December, after 16 cargoes were delayed in November and 19 in October.
Deliveries to major North Asian markets were slightly higher in December 2020, compared with December 2019. Australian projects delivered a total of 91 cargoes to China, Japan and Korea in December, which is up from 90 cargoes a year prior. There were 11 fewer deliveries to Korea, six more to Japan and six more to China compared with December 2019.
As of 30 December, the Platts JKM LNG spot price for January was US$15.10/MMBtu, a more than six-year high, on the back of a tighter shipping market, persistent supply disruptions and cold weather in China and South Korea.
Based on the ACCC’s methodology, the January Platts JKM estimate would translate to a Wallumbilla netback price of A$19.08/GJ at a 0.75 exchange rate.
According to EnergyQuest, the Platts JKM has continued to increase with cargoes for first-half February delivery reported on 12 January at US$39.22/MMBtu (A$48.33/GJ), and assessed at US$25.77/MMBtu for second-half February delivery, significantly higher than Queensland short-term domestic gas prices in December which averaged A$7.05/GJ at Wallumbilla and A$6.98/GJ in Brisbane.
The report further notes that the Gladstone LNG producers had a production deficit in December, with total production from LNG producers 6.6 PJ less than total LNG exports. This is higher compared with November when the producers had a 6.2 PJ deficit. LNG producers had a deficit of 0.1 PJ in December 2019.
Gas production from Moomba and offshore Victoria was up by 14 PJ including from storage compared with November and higher compared to a year ago.
EnergyQuest further outlines that electricity generation continues to be largely unaffected by restrictions caused by COVID-19. East coast generation was down by 3 per cent in December compared with a year earlier.
East coast gas-use for generation was well down, by 2.36 PJ (-24 per cent) on a year earlier and 0.24 PJ lower compared with November, being replaced by solar and wind generation.
More information on the EnergyQuest Australian LNG Monthly is available here.