Competition for tight LNG supply heats up ///

In 2007, the extent to which LNG has diversified and become a truly global industry manifested itself more than in previous years. Supply was tight, with several liquefaction projects late onstream or experiencing teething problems in initial operations. Conversely, demand was strong in most markets, particularly in Asia in the second half of the year, pushing spot prices to unprecedented levels and diverting deliveries from the Atlantic to the Pacific markets. As more LNG receiving terminals under construction come onstream, it is clear that North America, Europe and Asia are competing vigorously for limited supply, putting upward pressure on prices. Cost inflation, project budget overruns and the deepening global credit squeeze have made funding large-scale LNG facilities costlier and riskier for equity and debt investors. This has led to some final investment decisions-and LNG import projects without access to secure supply contracts-being delayed.

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