China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the country’s largest offshore oil producer, announced on 25 May that its first overseas LNG supply base has started operation.
Located in Queensland, Australia, the Curtis LNG project is expected to secure China an annual LNG supply of 3.6 million tonnes for 20 years.
Train 1 delivered the first shipment of LNG in January, and has delivered 16 shipments of LNG. Train 2 is currently under commission, and expected to be launched in the third quarter of this year, which may increase the LNG output to 8.5 million tonnes per year.
CNOOC has acquired a 25% equity interest in upstream tenements held by BG Group, and a 40% equity interest in Train 1.
CNOOC has also signed a deal with BP to build four 174,000 m³ LNG tankers, which will be constructed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai.
“The project will increase China’s say in LNG production and distribution,” said Yang Hua, chairman of CNOOC.
The company has established seven LNG terminals with a total capacity of 27.8 million tonnes per year.
China’s appetite for natural gas keeps growing with industrialisation and urbanisation initiatives to cut emissions. Last year, the country imported 19.8 million tonnes of LNG, and the volume is expected to climb up to 60 million tonnes in 2020.