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IGU releases World LNG Report

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The International Gas Union (IGU) has released its annual ‘World LNG Report’ for 2020. The comprehensive analysis highlights all the material changes in the global LNG industry in 2019.

This report features key global LNG industry updates, right across its value chain, demonstrating yet another strong year of growth for this crucial segment of the natural gas sector. LNG continues to enhance global energy security and increase the flexibility of access to the abundant global gas supplies.

In its sixth consecutive year of growth, the LNG trade increased by 13%.

While no new consumers joined the existing 37 markets in the global LNG arena in 2019, the most recent new players have increased their intake volumes – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, and Panama. At the same time, mature markets, like India, are adding new floating regasification capacity.

Floating, storage and regasification units (FSRU) continue to be an exciting and growing segment, improving access to modern energy and energy security worldwide. Of the 37 existing LNG import markets as of February 2020, 19 imported LNG with FSRUs, and six of those had onshore terminals as well.

Export growth came from the US, Russia and Australia, as well as Algeria and Egypt. The US is now the third largest LNG exporter, behind Qatar and Australia, with Russia in the fourth spot.

Asia Pacific and Asia remain the key centres of demand, and together they accounted for almost 70% of global LNG imports in 2018.

2019 was another record year of low prices, driven by increasing natural gas production, the commissioning of new export infrastructure and limited demand response from Asian markets.

The first quarter of 2020 has proven to be very challenging for natural gas and LNG producers, as historically low gas prices have prevailed throughout the winter season. First, the increase in LNG exports combined with a mild winter across the Northern Hemisphere lead to a counter-cyclical drop in international gas prices. The bearish tone continued throughout February and March as markets around the world started to announce lockdowns in order to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As the world has entered an unprecedented era of low LNG prices, the moment could be opportune for the environment, as there is a stronger economic case for switching from more polluting fuels to natural gas.

Gas will continue to play a vital role towards an economically and environmentally sustainable energy future. It produces less than 10% of the particulates and 50% less greenhouse gas than coal when used in power, 21% less than fuel oil in transport, and above 95% higher efficiency when used to heat homes. To reinforce this value, the industry continues to improve measurement and reduction of emissions across the full LNG value chain.

IGU President, Joe Kang, said: “As the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas has a key role in providing reliable and cleaner energy to all. Even in the most developed markets, affordability and reliability of clean energy is a key issue and switching to natural gas offers an enormous opportunity. The IGU will continue to demonstrate the vital environmental and economic role of gas in the sustainable energy future and encourage collaboration between industry and communities towards achieving this future.”

The full report can be found here.

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