(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Australian petroleum production has risen to a record 143.2 million barrels of oil equivalent in the September 2012 quarter.
This reflects gas production reaching a new high of 611 petajoules due in large part to the start-up of production from Woodside Petroleum's (ASX: WPL) Pluto liquefied natural gas project in April this year.
Together with increases from the North West Shelf and Darwin LNG projects, LNG production was up 33% from the previous corresponding period while domestic production has also increased, according to data from energy economics group EnergyQuest.
The rise in LNG production goes hand in hand with the continued increase in Asian gas demand.
North Asian LNG imports grew by 4.4% in the quarter with Japan responsible for a large part of the increase.
Japanese LNG imports grew by 4.9% while average prices increased by 7.2% to US16.66 per gigajoule, reflecting expensive spot cargoes, asa ll but two of Japan's nuclear reactors remain shut.
Australian LNG has also received a boost from its South East Asian rivals reducing exports as they attempt to meet domestic demand first.
Woodside is now Australia's largest gas producer while the Australia Pacific LNG project, despite not being at the export stage, is already the biggest coal seam gas producer with production of 30PJ in the quarter.