BG Starts Train 2 at Australian LNG Plant Before 2016 Gas Surge

  • BG assumes full control of Queensland Curtis LNG project
  • Producers seen adding 50 million metric tons of LNG next year

BG Group Plc started commercial operations from a second export unit at its Queensland Curtis liquefied natural gas facility in Australia, adding to a deluge of gas expected to hit global markets next year amid falling prices that have hurt the industry.

When fully operational in the middle of next year, Queensland Curtis LNG will load about 10 vessels a month, or about 8 million metric tons of LNG a year, BG said Wednesday in a statement. The site has shipped 71 cargoes since starting production in December last year, according to Reading, England-based BG, which is being bought by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

New supplies of the superchilled fuel may shake up global markets in 2016, allowing European and Asian gas buyers to recast existing links with traditional pipeline suppliers such as Russia. Producers are expected to add 50 million tons of LNG capacity next year, equivalent to a fifth of current global demand, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

BG now operates the entire Queensland Curtis LNG facility, it said Wednesday. The first train is a parity joint venture of BG and Chinese state-owned oil company Cnooc Ltd. while it owns all but the 2.5 percent of the second train held by Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd.

In October, BG raised its oil and gas output forecast for the year on expected ramp-ups in production in Australia and Brazil. It aims to produce 680,000 to 700,000 barrels a day this year, up from an earlier estimate of as much as 690,000. In the third quarter it delivered 75 LNG cargoes, up from 31 during the same period in 2014.

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