LNG exports from Queensland have hit $1bn in just six months according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

State treasurer Curtis Pitt, reflecting on the growth, has also said that the value of the region’s overall merchandise exports was also accelerating.

“The nominal value of Queensland merchandise exports rose 20% over the year to July quarter 2015,” Pitt said. “Growth over the year was driven by the ramp up of LNG exports, which commenced in January 2015, along with increases in the value of meat and coal exports.”

Pitt said Queensland’s LNG industry exported $1.14bn worth of gas from January to July.

“LNG is one of Queensland’s great economic success stories, one that will continue to shape the state economy in coming decades,” he said.

“LNG exports are projected to hit $15bn by 2016-17, earning the state valuable export dollars and annual royalties while supporting thousands of jobs.”