Australia on September 10 announced liquefied natural gas (LNG) deals worth up to 60 billion USD with Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK), raising its status as a major energy supplier.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Chevron Australia would supply almost 1.5 million tonnes of LNG a year to Japan’s Osaka Gas, 1.1 million tonnes to Tokyo Gas and 0.5 million tonnes to the RoK’s GS Caltex from the planned Gorgon field off the country's west coast.

Just some weeks ago, Australian ExxonMobil inked a record deal worth 41 billion USD with PetroChina.

ExxonMobil's deal with PetroChina, the biggest in Australian history, followed a separate 21 billion USD supply agreement between India's Petronet and Gorgon's developers.

Australia exported 15.2 million tonnes of LNG worth 5.2 billion USD in 2006, a figure the government estimates will quadruple to 60 million tonnes by 2015 if all currently planned projects proceed./.