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Editorial comment

Over the past couple of years, wildfires have never been far from the headlines, with monumental blazes occurring in Europe, California and, most recently, Australia.


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The reality is that, while global temperatures continue to rise, these wildfires will become increasingly frequent. Even Canberra, the capital of Australia, has only escaped disaster by the skin of its teeth. As Reuters reports: “wildfires that threatened Australia’s capital, Canberra, over the weekend have been brought under control as containment lines held and hot and windy conditions eased, prompting authorities to lift a state of emergency.”1

Even the most impressive fire fighting and prevention techniques, however, cannot completely save vast expanses of land from being scorched. Instead, the world needs to continue transitioning towards cleaner fuels, and towards the adoption of a more environmentally conscious outlook.

LNG is at the forefront of this battle, and Australia, of course, is – and will continue to be – a key player. In his article starting on page 12, Peter Kiernan of the Economist Intelligence Unit takes a detailed look at the Australian LNG market, and discusses the significant difference in market conditions faced when the majority of the country’s production capacity was proposed and built, compared to the market conditions it now finds itself within.

As just one example, Kiernan writes: “When Australia’s LNG projects were first sanctioned, the extent of the US shale boom was not fully anticipated, yet the introduction of US LNG will ultimately contribute to significant changes in the way the LNG global trade operates.” Despite these various developments, Kiernan claims: “Australia is therefore well-placed to meet growing Asian LNG demand, even if under circumstances that were not originally envisioned given the state of flux the LNG market will be in over the next decade. China’s demand, for example, will continue to grow, but growth has slowed down this year from the unexpected boom in 2018, reflecting that circumstances can change depending on policies, weather and market conditions.”

In an even more surprising turn of events, Australia could in fact find itself becoming an LNG importer in order to meet domestic gas requirements. Whether or not this materialises remains to be seen, but it is certainly an interesting scenario to consider. Regardless, it is clear that Australian LNG has an exciting decade ahead.

We hope you enjoy this latest issue of LNG Industry magazine. Please feel free to pick up a copy at the 6th Intenational LNG Congress in Brussels, Belgium, and at the Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference in Perth, Australia.

  1. BARRETT, J. and ZIEBELL, W., ‘Australia’s capital lifts state of emergency as fire threat subsides’, (2 February 2020), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-bushfires-capital/australias-capital-lifts-state-of-emergency-as-fire-threat-subsides-idUSKBN1ZW01S