LONDON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- BG Group, one of Australia's largest natural gas producers, announced it strengthened its grip in the region with new advances in liquefied natural gas.
The company said Wednesday it started commercial operations at the second train, a liquefaction and purification facility, at its Queensland Curtis plant in Australia. The company's Australian subsidiary also took control of the train from Bechtel Australia, which built the facility.
"With both trains now fully operational, Queensland Curtis adds significant volumes and flexibility to our LNG shipping and marketing portfolio," BG Group Chief Executive Helge Lund said in a statement.
BG Group, which has headquarters in London, loaded the first cargo from the facility onto the Methane Rita Andrea, a vessel designed specifically to carry the super-cooled gas, in December. The loading marked the first time ever for an LNG project supplied by coal seam gas.
The Queensland Curtis project is fed by a 260-mile underground pipeline from the Bowen and Surat basins in Queensland. At peak production, the facility will put out around 8 million tons of LNG per year.
LNG offers more options for delivery as it avoids some of the geopolitical constraints surrounding pipeline construction.
With many island nations in Asia expected to take on more natural gas in the future, the International Energy Agency said LNG could represent "a golden opportunity" for the region. With the right investment focus, even at a time when energy prices are low enough to curb spending, LNG can serve a critical and fluid role in global energy security, the IEA found.