Worley vice president Peter Cox told Appea Conference that a road map for the future of Australia’s LNG exports has shown how the sector can transition to zero emissions with environmental and business advantages.

By Shardul Sharma


Asia/Oceania Australia

Zero emissions LNG is a "credible opportunity" with advantages, Australian engineering services company Worley told the Appea Conference in Brisbane on May 17.

“Australia is vying with Qatar and the US to be the top global LNG exporter, with the Australian LNG industry earning around A$30bn annually and employing tens of thousands of people,” Worley vice president energy & chemicals (Australia East & PNG) Peter Cox said. “But where is the LNG industry headed as we move towards a zero emissions global energy economy?”

Cox said mitigating fugitive emissions and flaring; converting carbon dioxide to methane using methanation; electrifying LNG facilities; and using methane pyrolysis at the LNG regasification location to produce clean burning hydrogen and solid carbon, all have the potential to be commercially viable means to export zero emissions energy from Australia.

He said advantages of this include that methane pyrolysis requires only a third of the energy required to produce hydrogen compared to electrolysis. Less capital investment was also required because the LNG export, regasification and gas distribution infrastructure already existed.

“Solid carbon produced can be utilised to improve the economics, contribute to battery development, tyre manufacturing, and has the potential to reduce emissions in cement and building materials,” Cox said.

“This is an opportunity to transform the LNG industry towards zero emissions demonstrating that gas can remain an important and competitive component of the energy mix both now and into the future,” he added.

Acting CEO of Appea, Australia’s peak oil and gas body, Damian Dwyer said the presentation highlighted the industry’s focus on decarbonisation to reduce emissions and improving the investment environment so Australia could capitalise on its competitive advantage.

“Members of the oil and gas industry have already spent over A$5bn on decarbonisation initiatives and the sector is committed to net zero by 2050,” Dwyer said. “This kind of thinking is welcome for industry delegates to consider and debate the different pathways to reducing emissions.”