Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) export revenue has risen 67.8 per cent since 2017.

Australia is now exporting $43.3 billion worth of LNG each year, making it the country’s third largest export in 2018 after coal and iron ore.

Energy advisory firm EnergyQuest Australia says there has been a 23 per cent increase in LNG exports, from 56.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 68.5 million tonnes in 2018.

The experts say west coast producers were responsible for the bulk of this rise, led by Woodside Energy’s North West Shelf as the largest producer followed by Chevron’s Gorgon.

“There will be further increases in exports in 2019 as [Shell’s long-awaited] Prelude comes on line, and [Inpex’s new] Ichthys and [Chevron’s] Wheatstone ramp-up to full capacity,” a new EnergyQuest report states.

East coast projects are performing below capacity, growing by just 0.3 million tonnes.

Australia is the biggest LNG supplier to China, supplying 46 per cent of Chinese LNG imports in November.

Australia was second for LNG sales in the Korean market in November 2018, behind Qatar. The country is Japan’s largest LNG supplier, with imports increasing by 11.8 per cent from 2017.

Australia’s LNG exports are so high that EnergyQuest has predicted a shortage of transport vessels becoming an issue.

The International Energy Agency also says there has been “a lack of timely investment” in the LNG carrier fleet.