Saturday's attack is the biggest on Saudi oil infrastructure since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.Energyread more
"Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may," Zarif said on Twitter.Energyread more
Oil prices are expected to jump as much as $10 per barrel after a coordinated drone strike hit Saudi Arabia's largest oil field, forcing the kingdom to cut its oil output in...Marketsread more
Apple's new iPhones can still send texts, download apps, and make video calls, but the company spends a lot of time and effort marketing its new phones as powerful photography...Technologyread more
Some U.S. manufacturers say tariffs, if targeted, will help address longstanding unfair trade practices like intellectual property theft.Traderead more
The trucking industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Uber is going after this market with Uber Freight, an online platform that matches truckers with...Technologyread more
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage ballot initiative in Florida argue the state's inflation-tied pay hikes have not gone far enough.2020 Electionsread more
Saudi Arabia shut down half its oil production Saturday after drone strikes hit the world's largest oil processing facility in an attack claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.Politicsread more
Trusii's hydrogen water machines were supposed to help users with their health problems, but customers claim the company is involved in a giant scam.Technologyread more
The decoupling of the world's two weightiest economies seems as inescapable as its extent and global impact remains incalculable.Politicsread more
BlackBerry has reinvented itself to become a leader in securing mobile communications and in embedded communications. Next year it plans to roll out new products. CEO John...Evolveread more
* Australian LNG imports needed to fill near term supply gap
* At least A$10 bln in new gas developments needed in next decade
* More manufacturers at risk if gas prices don't fall- regulator
BRISBANE, May 30 (Reuters) - Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Australia - the world's biggest LNG exporter - now appear "highly realistic" as the country struggles to fill a looming gas shortage, U.S. energy giant Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday.
The assessment will add to the sense of urgency in the industry, which experts say needs at least A$10 billion ($6.9 billion) in new developments to meet longer term gas demand and bring down high prices that are crippling many manufacturers.
As recently as a year ago, many thought importing LNG to Australia would be irrational, but shortages are expected as soon as 2022 and there are now five import proposals on the table, including one from ExxonMobil.
"Just given the nature of growth in demand and where the outlook for supply is, at least for a period LNG import terminals look highly realistic," Exxon Mobil's new chairman for Australia, Nathan Fay, told an industry conference.
Exxon Mobil and its partner BHP Group are the dominant suppliers into the southeastern gas market, and imports would be complementary to further development of offshore fields in the Gippsland Basin, Fay said.
The start-up of three LNG export plants in northeastern Australia has sapped gas from the local market and also led to higher prices, as most of the new supply is from higher cost coal seam gas wells.
At the same time, drilling bans in the southeastern states of Victoria and New South Wales have curbed new supply to fill a gap as the offshore fields that meet about 40 percent of the southern states' needs are drying up.
If supply doesn't improve and prices fail to come down, manufacturers dependent on gas will shut, Australian competition regulator warned on Thursday in its latest report on the east coast gas market.
The latest casualty of the gas crunch was an ageing chemicals plant in Melbourne, which a unit of Dow Inc said this week it would be shutting, partly due to high gas prices.
That followed the closure of a maker of polystyrene coffee cups in Sydney and a brick and clay paver maker in Queensland, both of which partly blamed high gas prices, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.
Gas prices to manufacturers are now around A$9 to A$11 per gigajoule (GJ), or half the price they were two years ago after the government pushed east coast exporters to release more gas for domestic purposes, but prices are still more than triple the level manufacturers paid five years ago.
"I think at A$7 gas many of the manufacturing plants can survive. The problem is if they don't get that soon, they just won't be here," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims told reporters at the conference.
However, analysts said imported LNG was unlikely to be this cheap given the distance it has to travel, with new local supplies needed to bring certainty of supply and potentially cheaper prices.
"We are going to have a shortfall from 2021, and new infrastructure in some form is going to be needed to service that," said Nicholas Mumford, managing director of Mumford Commercial Consulting.
($1 = 1.4426 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sonali Paul; editing by Richard Pullin)