New record for LNG trade in 2018.

Synthesis of the main trends and figures related to the LNG industry. Data based on the 2019 IGU World LNG Report presented at the 19th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas, which was co-organised by the IIR and took place in Shanghai, China, on April 1-5, 2019.

The 2019 World LNG Report was presented during the 19th International Conference and Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas – which took place in Shanghai, China, on April 1-5, 2019 – by the International Gas Union (IGU), one of the three organisers of this event with the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI). It provides a comprehensive overview of the status of the LNG industry at the end of 2018.

Natural gas accounts for just under a quarter of global energy demand, of which 10.7% are supplied as LNG, that is to say 2.67% of global energy demand. It marks the second consecutive year of share growth and a new record.

LNG global trade

For the fifth consecutive year, global LNG trade set a record, reaching 316.5 million tonnes (MT). This marks an increase of 28.2 MT from 2017, equating to 9.8% year-on-year growth. This is the 5th consecutive year of incremental growth of global LNG trade. Specifically, non-long-term LNG trade reached 99 MT in 2018, an increase of 14.5 MT year-on-year and accounted for 31% of total gross LNG trade. This substantial expansion can be attributed to increasingly flexible LNG supply.

LNG exports

Australia led all exporters in incremental growth (+12.2 MT), supported by the new Wheatstone LNG and Ichthys LNG projects. The United States was again the second-largest driver of LNG supply growth, adding 8.2 MT as trains at Sabine Pass LNG operated for the full year and Cove Point LNG came online. Qatar remains the first LNG exporting country (24.9% of the market).

Liquefaction plants

Global liquefaction build-out was driven largely by capacity additions in Australia, the United States, and Russia. Between January 2018 and February 2019, 36.2 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) of liquefaction capacity was added bringing it at 392.9 MTPA. In an engineering milestone, the first project utilizing a floating liquefaction conversion, Kribi FLNG in Cameroon, was brought online. The ongoing wave of liquefaction capacity expansion that began in 2016 is set to continue in 2019, with a total of 51.8 MTPA scheduled to be completed during the year.

LNG imports

Asia remained the driver of international LNG demand growth, as China broke its own record for incremental LNG by importing an additional 15.8 MT in 2018. This was again driven by the strong enforcement of environmental policies designed to promote coal-to-gas switching as well as continued economic growth. Other key markets that drove global LNG growth included South Korea, India, and Pakistan, which took in a combined 12.8 MT of incremental imports. Japan remains the first LNG importing country (25.4% of the market).

Regasification terminals

Global regasification capacity has continued to increase, rising to 824 MTPA by February 2019. Two regasification terminals were added in new markets, Panama and Bangladesh, bringing the number of global LNG importing countries to 36. There is an additional 129.7 MTPA of regasification capacity under construction as of February 2019. This includes capacity across several new markets, such as Bahrain, the Philippines, Russia (Kaliningrad), and Ghana.

LNG carriers

The overall global LNG fleet consisted of 525 vessels at the end of 2018 (+ 11.5% compared with the end of 2017), as 53 carriers were added to the fleet, including four Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs).

For further information, please follow this link.