The popular Texas headquartered gas supplier ExxonMobil Corporation has made it to the headlines for announcing its decision to import liquefied natural gas. Seemingly, the company may have taken this decision to secure its shares and make up for the gas shortage from the year 2021.
Incidentally, a consortium inclusive of Japan’s JERA and AGL Energy, Australia’s energy retailer ranked at the second position in the country, are both due to commence LNG imports from 2020. Exxon’s move is most likely to compete with the plans of both these organizations, cite sources. AGL is also reported to be shifting toward a major investment decision regarding its import plans by June 2019.
Phaedra Deckart, AGL General Manager, was quoted stating that the company may have contemplated revisiting this business case, had there been any worthwhile change in the supply that may have changed the dynamics of the market. Seeing that this probability was close to zero, the company plans to import LNG by 2020, she says.
Reportedly, the nation’s energy market operator had already issued a warning in March that Australia’s biggest gas consuming state, Victoria, may face gas shortages from the middle of 2021 owing to a rapid drop in product supply from the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, conjointly owned by BHP Billiton and ExxonMobil. The output from this JV, that has been Victoria’s principal supplier since the last five decades, may fall to half the current level by 2022, claim reports.
Another source familiar with the developments states that while Australia plans to stand opposite Qatar, throwing in a challenge to the Middle East oil giant to be the world’s top LNG exporter, the possibility seems bleak for the nation, as domestic gas supplies are currently under threat on account of long-term export deals and field decline.
ExxonMobil also plans to step up the exploration activities off the Victorian coast and develop a gas field called the West Barracouta near an existing field. This LNG import terminal, as per authentic reports, is likely to commence operations by the year 2022.