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First Australian LNG Shipment Arrives in Europe

LNG from Australia delivered to Europe
Woodside Energy sent the first gas shipment from Australia directly to Rotterdam (Woodside Energy)

Published Nov 28, 2022 2:45 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first-ever direct shipment of Australian natural gas arrived at the Port of Rotterdam on November 27 as Europe continues to search for alternate sources of gas to replace Russian supplies. The shipment is also the precursor to an expanded relationship between Australia’s Woodside Energy and Uniper.

The cargo of approximately 75,000 tonnes of LNG (100 million cubic meters of natural gas) was delivered to the Gate Terminal located on Maasvlakte in Rotterdam aboard the Woodside Rees Withers. The 96,000 dwt LNG carrier, which is registered in Greece, departed from Withnell Bay, Australia on October 29. The three-year-old vessel has a maximum carrying capacity of 173400 cubic meters of liquid gas.

Woodside Energy reports the gas shipment originated at its from Australia’s North West Shelf, Australia’s original LNG project which has been operating for more than 35 years. Woodside runs the project which is jointly owned with BP, Shell, Chevron, and Japan Australia LNG. 

Woodside said the company was pleased to have concluded the trade at a time when Europe is in urgent need of alternative sources of gas to replace
Russian pipeline supplies.

“Events over the course of 2022 have shown that the world cannot take reliable and affordable supplies of energy for granted, particularly as we strive to decarbonize,” said Mark Abbotsford, Executive Vice President of Marketing & Trading for Woodside. “The delivery of a North West Shelf LNG cargo to Europe also highlights the role that Australian LNG can play in supporting global energy security.”

Woodside recently entered into a long-term sale purchase agreement for the supply of LNG to Uniper. The revised agreement, which is due to start in January 2023, calls for Woodside to supply up to twelve cargoes per year (equivalent to more than 0.8 million tonnes per annum or one billion cubic meters of natural gas). Woodside notes that it will contribute to natural gas supply in Northwest and Central Europe with the deliveries expected to go to multiple ports. The supply agreement runs up to 2039.

“We continue to work on securing the much-needed gas supply into Europe from reliable sources like Australia and thus helping to strengthen security of supply during the ongoing crisis triggered by the Russian war,” said Uniper’s Director LNG Andreas Gemballa. “In addition to bringing online floating storage and regasification units in Germany, we are contracting LNG from diversified sources into existing and new regasification capacity in Europe.”

Future deliveries are expected to include shipments to the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany where Uniper is one of the companies involved in establishing the first LNG terminals for Germany. Woodside historically has been one of the largest suppliers to Asia.