Federal Resources Minister Gary Gray has tipped Australia to become the largest natural gas exporter in the world within five years.
In a speech to a natural gas conference in Houston, Texas, Gray said seven of the world's 12 LNG projects were now under construction in Australia, and by 2018 production would approach 90 million tonnes a year.
Along with Australia's booming production, Gray also said Asia was starting to account for a larger energy demand, and the region would be of greater importance in the future.
“The agency notes that the global gas trade balance is shifting to the Asia-Pacific Region, with more than two thirds of LNG production now directed into these markets,” he said.
“Emerging economies are set to account for 80 per cent of increased global gas demand over the next 20 years.
“Asia-Pacific LNG imports will increase on average by seven per cent a year to reach 272 million tonnes a year by 2018, up from 185 million tonnes in 2012.
“China, alone, will account for a fifth of this increase and is on track to become one of the world’s largest LNG importers.”