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Hungover down under

Australia came good as an LNG powerhouse in 2016, but started to feel the effects of the boom's aftermath

It was a bitter-sweet year for Australia's energy sector. Exports from vast natural gas reserves reached new heights as newly-minted liquefied natural gas facilities in Western Australia and Queensland started up. Seven export terminals are now pumping out LNG. Three more are being built. But tepid demand in Asia and rivalry from cheaper competitors - including American LNG flowing through the expanded Panama Canal - meant buyers took control of the market and were able to bully high-cost Aussie exporters into lower prices and more flexible contracts. LNG export capacity reached about 42m tonnes a year - about the halfway point given another 44m t/y should be online by end-2018. After year

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