PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australia’s gas sector could benefit greatly from Korea’s decarbonising efforts, oil and gas major Santos said.
Speaking at the Korean Government Energy Summit, Santos MD and CEO Kevin Gallagher noted that Korea’s proposed measures to cut particle emissions by restricting around one-quarter of Korea’s coal-fired power capacity during winter and its hopes to almost halve its coal-fired generation by 2030, would mean an increase in demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Korea’s LNG imports are forecast to peak in 2039, almost two decades away, at just over 48-million tonnes, before declining to about 42-million tonnes in 2050.
In 2050, Korea is expected to be the world’s fourth-largest LNG importer.
“With a strong economy, extensive gas infrastructure, plans to reduce dependence on imported oil and increase use of cleaner energy, LNG demand in Korea is set to grow.
“Santos and Australia will be there to support the growth in the Korean LNG market,” Gallagher said.
“With 10 LNG projects and 89-million tonnes of capacity, spanning Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, Australia is a very important supplier of LNG across the Asian region.
“We retained our position as the world’s number one exporter of LNG in 2021, supplying just over 80-million tonnes of LNG into Asia.
“And we remain committed to growing our LNG industry, at the same time reducing carbon emissions from production and helping our customers to reduce their emissions from consumption,” he said.
Gallagher pointed to Santos' own environmental ambitions, with the company and its joint venture (JV) partners earlier this year approving the investment of nearly A$1-billion in the development of coal seam gas resources in Queensland to keep its Gladstone LNG plant flowing.
Last year, Santos and its JV partners also approved a $3.6-billion investment into the Barossa offshore gas project, which will backfill the Darwin LNG plant.
“Combined with carbon capture and storage at Bayu-Undan in the Timor Sea, Barossa would also be one of the lowest-carbon LNG supply projects in the world.
“Darwin has significant growth potential, with two additional LNG trains already approved, that could be developed by aggregating a wide variety of gas resources, both onshore and offshore the Northern Territory and the Timor region,” Gallagher said.
He noted that Santos was also looking to develop a new liquids-rich province in the Bedout basin, in Western Australia, with low-carbon oil and natural gas resources.
“Korean energy policy supports natural gas as a fuel to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, affirming gas as the main backup for variable renewable generation in the absence of batteries, and promoting coal-to-gas conversion projects.
“This is a great opportunity for trade and investment in Australian LNG, to deliver energy security and cleaner energy for Korea for another three decades,” Gallagher said.