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LNG glut likely to totally disappear from 2011

Oilfield Technology,

The Ordinary General Meeting of Cedigaz, which took recently place in Paris, gave Cedigaz, the International Association for Natural Gas, the opportunity to present its view on the short and medium term prospects of the global LNG market. After a record growth of 22% in 2010, Cedigaz has announced that the world LNG trade is also set for fast and double-digit growth in 2011, under the impulsion of both traditional (Japan, South Korea) and emerging markets in Asia-Oceania, but also North-Western European countries (United Kingdom) and recent markets in Latin America and the Middle East.

Moreover, the year 2011 should see a substantial growth in world regasification capacity of more than 40 million tonnes, thanks to the commissioning of several projects located in Asia (China, Thailand, India), Europe (Netherlands, Italy) and America (Argentina, Mexico). The buoyant expansion of the world LNG market, which should last for at least the next fifteen years, is characterised by a fast-growing number of importing markets, especially in Asia.

On the supply side, Australia will emerge as a leading LNG supplier and will overtake Qatar to become the world largest LNG exporter by the end of this decade, according to Cedigaz analysis. The world LNG trade is forecast to grow strongly by around 6% over the period 2011-2020. Asia will be the key demand driver for the global LNG market, with the largest growths expected in India and China, while Japan and South Korea will continue to cover the bulk of the global demand.

According to Cedigaz, the current LNG glut persists this year but is likely to totally disappear from 2013, as the current tremendous LNG demand growth, enhanced by the Japan nuclear crisis, is faced with a limited build up in new supply capacity in the short-term and some supply shortage and outage problems in some parts of the world, like Southeast Asia. The fast-growing gap between long-term contracted supply and LNG demand in Asia in the medium term will continue to boost short-term deliveries from the Middle East and the Atlantic Basin. LNG flows are forecast to account for around half of world inter-regional trade by 2020. But despite the growing importance of LNG in world gas supply, natural gas markets will not be totally globalised by 2020. From the perspective of booming gas demand and LNG supply challenges in the long-term, unconventional gas and LNG may become more complementary than competitive. These are some of the main conclusions of the Ordinary General Meeting of Cedigaz.

The presentation with comments is available on Cedigaz website at

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