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US shale derails Australian CBM LNG plans

US LNG exporters are using cheap shale gas to undercut Australia’s coal-bed methane, threatening billions of dollars in infrastructure investment

Cheap US shale gas is pulling investors and liquefied natural gas (LNG) consumers away from Australia, threatening to derail the country’s plan to be the world’s largest LNG exporter. Australia was expected to overtake Qatar as the top LNG producer in the coming decade, with more than A$175 billion ($184 billion) in investments set to boost LNG output capacity beyond 100 million tonnes a year (t/y). This compares with Qatar’s 77 million t/y LNG production capacity. But the US has signalled its intention to become an LNG exporter, as it pushes to monetise its abundant shale-gas production. US unconventional gas output has grown quickly in the past five years, depressing domestic gas prices.

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