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EnergyQuest comments on Australia's first LNG shipment to Chile

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Australia has just shipped its first LNG cargo to Chile.

The cargo, from the Shell-operated QCLNG project at Gladstone in Queensland, was transported aboard the Sevilla Knutsen, which docked at Quintero, Chile on 15 August after a 24-day voyage of more than 13 500 nautical miles.

Consultancy firm EnergyQuest noted that this delivery is unusual, due to the fact that QCLNG cargoes are generally shipped to China and Japan, and that Quintero mostly imports LNG cargoes from the Atlantic Basin. In 2019, Quintero imported cargoes from the US, Trinidad and Tobago, and Equatorial Guinea. EnergyQuest suggested that this cargo from Australia demonstrates the degree of over-supply in Asia.

Historically, Chile imported its gas from Argentina but decided to build an LNG import terminal after interruptions to Argentinian supply in 2004 – 2005. BG (now Shell) wrote a portfolio contract with GNL Quintero in 2006 to supply 3 million tpy from 2009 to 2030.

The import terminal commenced operation in 2009 only 27 months after signing of the EPC contract.

As well as supplying gas into pipelines, the terminal has a major truck-loading facility.

Wholesale gas prices in Chile averaged US$6.50/MMBtu in 2019, according to the International Gas Union.

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