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Even The World’s Top LNG Exporter Thinks Natural Gas Prices Are Too High

Natural gas prices have reached unhealthy levels for both producers and consumers, Saad al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Energy Minister and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, the world’s top LNG exporter, said on Thursday, a day after spot liquefied natural gas prices in Asia hit a new record high.

“While natural gas prices are an outcome of basic market fundamentals including supply and demand, the current price levels observed in global markets are unhealthy for both producers and consumers,” al-Kaabi said, as carried by Bloomberg, after a virtual dialogue with European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson today.  

Last month, al-Kaabi said on the sidelines of the Gastech industry conference in Dubai that the surging gas prices were partly the result of underinvestment in the industry, also driven by the attempts at fast energy transition.

“There’s a euphoria around the energy transition that’s forcing companies not to invest,” al-Kaabi said. 

“There is a huge demand from all our customers, and unfortunately we cannot cater for everybody. Unfortunately, in my view, this is due to the market not investing enough in the industry,” al-Kaabi said at the event in September, as carried by Reuters

Back then, when spot LNG prices in Asia were “only” $20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu)—a record for September ahead of the winter heating season—the Qatari energy minister said he hoped the high prices wouldn’t last because they would not be good for consumers.

“We don’t want these high prices, we don’t think it is good for the consumers. We don’t want $2 and we don’t want $20, we want to have a reasonable price that is sustainable,” al-Kaabi told Reuters at the end of September.

This week, the worsening global energy crisis sent Asia’s spot LNG prices soaring by 40 percent on Wednesday, as a cargo for delivery into North Asia in November was priced at as much as $56/mmBtu—a record high that beat the previous record from last week of $34.52/mmBtu.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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