Global LNG market to tighten in next few years

According to Shell, the nuclear power capacity reductions following the Fukushima accident will result in a tightening of the global gas market over the next two to three years. Following the major nuclear accident at Japan's Fukushima facility in March, Germany switched off around 7 gigawatt (GW) of nuclear power capacity and has decided to totally phase out nuclear generation by 2022, and other major economies are also reviewing their nuclear power policies.
For Japan, Asia's second biggest economy after China, the nuclear accident means it has begun to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to compensate for the lost nuclear generation.
"There is already some tightening in the gas market, and we will see a tightening of the LNG market in 2013 or 2014 based on increased demand in Asia and Europe," Graeme Sweeney, Shell's Executive Vice President, Future Fuels & CO2, has forecast.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported in June 2011 that the oversupply in the global gas market could end by 2015 as gas power generation increasingly replaces coal in order to reduce carbon emissions, and pushes back nuclear power.
Sweeney said the increase in global gas power generation would help secure the fast rising demand for energy, especially in emerging economies, but highlighted that it will be important to make gas power generation cleaner in terms of carbon emissions. "By 2050, probably 60% or more will still come from fossil fuel, and that stresses why we need to deal with the emissions of those sources," Sweeney said, adding he saw carbon capture and storage (CCS) as the best way to make fossil energy supplies cleaner. Sweeney stated that by 2050, around a third of the energy supply system would come from renewable sources.