Natural gas is a broken global market.
For oil, there's enough import-export capacity worldwide that global prices tend to align closely. In natgas, global markets are fragmented. Leading to disparate pricing in different regions. Just look at the comparison below, from PFC Energy.
One of the implications being: if you're going to produce natural gas (or ship it as LNG), find the regions with the top prices.
Increasingly, it's looking like this will be Asia. And specifically, southeast Asia.
By way of example, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said last Thursday that Vietnam will likely need to import over 800 billion cubic feet of gas annually by 2025 in order to meet demand.
The announcement came as part of the release of a World Bank report on Vietnamese gas sector development. In the work, the Bank estimates that Vietnam's gas use will triple over the next 15 years.
The report also recommends that Vietnam move toward liberalized, competitive gas pricing in order to spur development of domestic gas resources. Exactly the kind of environment that will create opportunities for gas producers.
At the same time as gas demand is ramping up in nations like Vietnam and Thailand, the Asian super-powers are also hungry for supply. PetroChina said today that northern China (including Beijing) could face gas shortages of up to 300 million cubic feet per day this winter.
This is not a huge amount, relatively speaking. But it does underscore the point that Asian gas use is only growing, and supply (as well as transportation infrastructure) has lagged.
All the signs of a good gas market. I'm going back at the beginning of December to continue looking for projects that could capitalize.
By. Dave Forest of Notela Resources