August 15, 2017 Read More →

Australia Natural Gas Export Overbuild Is Collapsing

The Guardian:

Australia’s natural gas export boom, which is causing soaring gas prices and pushing up carbon emissions, appears to be rapidly shedding value.

Santos wiped more than $1bn off the value of its liquefied natural gas plant in Queensland on Tuesday, just a week after Origin announced a similar devaluation.

The devaluations were predicted by commentators, who pointed out previous devaluations of the projects relied on overly-optimistic forecasts.

The Santos share price dipped a further 2.39% on Tuesday morning after a drop of more than 85% since its peak in 2008.

“This industry has torn up its shareholders’ wealth and now it’s tearing up the nation’s wealth,” said Bruce Robertson from the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

On Tuesday Santos announced it was expecting to wipe more than A$1bn off the value of its GLNG plant on Curtis Island in Queensland.

Just last week Origin announced a post-tax $815m devaluation of its APLNG facility on Curtis Island – a figure that implies more than a billion-dollar devaluation before tax.

Along with another facility on Curtis Island owned by Shell, the three plants are responsible for Australia’s LNG export boom, which has been vacuuming Australia’s gas and caused domestic prices to skyrocket.

Each plant has been shedding value since construction began. Shell’s plant was US$7bn over budget, and then suffered a $5.4bn pre-tax devaluation in 2015. Between Santos and Origin, the two plants have now been devalued by about $6bn.

More: Australia’s gas export industry sheds value while tightening local supply

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