International Gas Union’s 2016 World LNG Report released on Tuesday reveals the global liquefied natural gas industry is set to grow along with playing a key role in expanding access to natural gas in the world’s future energy mix.
LNG trade in total reached 244.8 million tons in 2015, up 4.7 million tons from 2014 and the largest year ever for LNG trade, surpassing the previous high of 241.5 million tons set in 2011, IGU’s report shows.
Although the Pacific Basin remains the largest source of demand, growth was driven by Europe and the Middle East. New regasification markets formed in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Poland, just in time to benefit from near record-low prices. The decline in oil prices and growing weakness in Pacific demand led all global LNG price markers to fall in 2015, from an average $15.60/MMBtu in 2014 to $9.77/MMBtu in 2015.
Global liquefaction capacity reached 301.5 mtpa in 2015 with a further 142 mtpa under construction globally as of January 2016. Final investment decisions were reached for a total of 20 mtpa of LNG at Sabine Pass Train 5, Corpus Christi Trains 1 and 2, Freeport LNG Train 3 and Cameroon FLNG.
In 2015, the start-up of new projects in Australia and Indonesia contributed to the growth in non long-term trade (all those volumes traded under contracts of less than 5 years), as the delivery of commissioning cargoes plus the prevalence of more flexible contracts allowed short- and medium-term trade to grow in both countries by over 3 MT year-on-year (YOY). In total, all non long-term LNG trade reached 71.9 MT in 2015, accounting for 29 percent of total gross LNG trade, IGU said.
While the natural gas industry is undergoing fundamental changes as it operates in a historical low-price environment, the global social and political momentum illustrated by the COP21 agreements suggests that natural gas can be a critical part of the globe’s future energy mix more than ever.
“Natural gas accounts for roughly a quarter of global energy demand, of which 9.8% is supplied as LNG. The 2016 IGU World LNG Report shows that a major expansion of LNG supply through 2020 positions LNG to further increase its market share. The LNG industry has developed to a point where the necessary foundations have been built to turn natural gas into a truly global commodity, enhancing both energy security and meeting growing demand,” said David Carroll, President of the IGU.