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Santos diverts some gas from export to shore up Australian market

(Reuters) — Australia's Santos Ltd said it would divert 30 petajoules (PJ) of gas from its Gladstone LNG export plant to customers on the country's east coast over the next 2yr, hoping to avert curbs on LNG exports.

Shares of the company rose as much as 1% to A$3.94 in early trade on Thursday, its highest since Feb. 24.

Australia is on track to become the world's biggest LNG exporter by 2019, straining supplies in the domestic market and driving up gas and power prices.

To help ease soaring energy prices, the government has put in place a controversial measure to curb LNG exports from the east coast if it deems there is likely to be a shortfall of domestic gas supply in any year.

Santos said its Gladstone LNG partners had agreed to divert 30 PJ of gas to the local market.

Thursday's announcement follows Santos' deals to deliver up to 72 PJ of gas over four years into the southeastern market through a swap agreement and the sale of 15 PJ to the Pelican Point Power Station in South Australia.

Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin


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FEATURED COLUMNS

Editorial comment
-Adrienne Blume
The ongoing development of shale gas resources in the US has spurred infrastructure construction for both natural gas processing capacity and LNG export terminals.
Regional focus
-Eugene Gerden
Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom is strengthening its presence in the gas market of the Middle East through the planned construction of an 11-metric-MMtpy–12-metric-MMtpy LNG plant in Iran.


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