Australia is poised to become the world's top gas exporter by the end of this decade, the International Gas Union (IGU) predicts.
IGU president Jérôme Ferrier acknowledged Australia as a top global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter. And the IGU recognizes the country’s growing importance in the international gas market.
Mr Ferrier said natural gas can help to address the challenge of reducing carbon emissions globally.
“Sustainable energy has to be accessible for all, while also ensuring that it is provided in an efficient manner and does not cause adverse environmental and socio-economic impacts, he said.
"Gas has a pivotal role to play in this context."
Australia is well positioned to become the world leader given its energy resources and export opportunities.
Mr Ferrier said Australia is also fortunate to have significant shale gas reserves as well as coal.
About a third of the total increase in world gas consumption will come from the Asia-Pacific region, with China, Japan, South Korea and India as the main consumers.
"As that volume is maintained, Australia can expect to emerge as a key supplier," Mr Ferrier said.
IGU secretary-general Torstein Indrebo said because Australia is a secure supplier with no interruptions, it is “the most attractive supplier to the Asian market.”
There are at least seven new LNG projects now being constructed in Australia.
Expected total capacity is placed at 60 million mt/year, potentially boosting Australia ahead of Qatar by around 2017 as the world's largest producer.