Thursday AM June 3rd, 2010

Australia's new ambassador to the United States outlined his country's growing role as an energy exporter. Australia's liquefied natural gas industry is taking advantage of LNG demand in the Pacific Basin, which has nearly doubled in ten years. Ed Mayberry reports.

Ambassador Kim BeazleyMiddle East oil supply and U.S. oil demand have dominated the energy story.  But growing energy demand in China and India and a greater role for LNG in power generation and transportation could help reshape the global economic and political order, according to Ambassador Kim Beazley, who spoke to members of the Asia Society.

"This is an energy-hungry region.  Huge growth rates.  It's availability is important, it's very available from Australia.  The popularity of LNG is in part related to availability, but also related to environmental sensitivity."

Ed:  "And the system is set up—the distribution."

"Well, once you've got it in place, it's very easy to build on.  It took a long time to get those provinces going in Western Australia, but now they are, they're pretty easy to expand."  

Australia is the sixth largest LNG producer in the world.  Ambassador Beazley says there are tremendous opportunities.

"There is enormous American investment in our offshore provinces.  We have an enormous amount of American investment in Australia, and an enormous amount of Australian investment in the United States.  Paradoxically, last year for the first time, more Australian investment went into the U.S. than U.S. into Australia, despite the fact that outfits like Chevron and ConocoPhillips have got such a huge—and building up, if you like—presence offshore in WA."   

Beazley comes from WA, or Western Australia, in that country's energy capital of Perth.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...