Regional Report - Australia: Excessive costs, sluggish approval process could slow Australia’s push to be world leader in LNG exports ///

As Australia accelerates its drive to become the world’s premier liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter—sooner rather than later—oil (what there is of it) continues to reside on the nation’s energy backburner. Despite astronomical development costs and an ambiguous regulatory regime, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) CEO David Byers says the nation’s producers are on pace to leap-frog Qatar and emerge as the kingpin of global LNG production by the end of the decade. The 20 million tonnes of LNG that the government says the industry exported in 2010-2011 is reportedly half the production capacity of its Middle East competitor. However, Byers and others contend that the developments underway or near sanction should propel Australia to the top spot.

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