Australia has set its sights on becoming the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier in less than a decade.

The country aims to be No.2 by 2015 and believes it can snatch the top spot from Qatar in the following five years.

Already this year finance has been secured for four new LNG projects due to come on line by 2016.

Australia’s energy minister Martin Ferguson told new agency Platts: “Total committed capital expenditure in the LNG sector is over $140bn. Australia is moving from a regional hub to a global leader in LNG.”

Addressing concerns that future LNG projects would face a shortage of skilled staff, Ferguson added: “The government is absolutely focused on supporting the training and skilling of the workforce with $3bn allocated to this objective in this year’s budget.”

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