At a time when investors are backpedalling and confidence is low in New Zealand, thanks to the knee-jerk action of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Australia is experiencing an LNG boom.
Energy Minister Dr Megan Woods tried to hose down business concerns about banning new offshore oil permits, by saying gas production could continue for decades.
This was hardly a ringing endorsement for an industry that knows gas discoveries could be a boon for NZ, particularly when it was revealed there were no case studies to argue the economic reasoning for a ban.
The Adelaide-based industry monitor EnergyQuest reported yesterday that Western Australia was leading an Australian LNG revenue surge to a March month record of $A3.1 billion ($NZ3.31 B).
A driver for this was the rising oil price.
EnergyQuest principal Graeme Bethune said the growth in Australia has been that dramatic that the country could end up taking over from Qatar as the leading producer of export LNG.
He said China’s shift away from coal could see world demand for LNG surpass 300 million times for the first time, raising concerns of short supply.