September 2012

LNG demonstrates market power and versatility

Since 2011, the LNG sector has continued to demonstrate its global appeal, and its ability to reconfigure and expand gas markets. Furthermore, it has demonstrated a capability to respond to dramatically changing market conditions and redirect cargoes to various destinations, something that cannot be done easily through gas pipeline systems. Consequently LNG’s influence is expanding in all gas-trading continents, albeit in ways not envisaged a few years ago. In North America, LNG provides potential opportunities for gas supplies trapped in an oversupplied market to enter profitable markets through exports. In Asia, it has helped to plug energy shortfalls following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan and the large-scale outages of nuclear capacity. LNG has also competed effectively in Asia against oil products during sustained periods of high oil prices, providing LNG suppliers with high returns from oil-indexed cargoes. In Northwest Europe, expanded LNG volumes delivered to gas hubs have shaken up gas markets dominated for decades by long-term take-or-pay contracts, indexed mainly to petroleum products by the somewhat complacent pipeline gas suppliers (i.e., Norway and Russia).

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