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Shell projects that the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets may need up to $200 billion in investments by the end of 2030, according to Reuters.
The top global LNG trader said that a rapid expansion into its existing infrastructure to trade the “hyper-cooled” fluid should allow the company to meet rising demand for the carbon-light fossil fuel.
The company’s 2018 Energy Outlook also points out that a few years of consecutively low investment in the sector would likely still slow industry growth in the medium term. Plants that process, liquidate, and re-gas LNG are expensive and difficult to build, but demand for the product grows as countries continue to increase its utilization to lower carbon emissions.
“The industry is still looking at quite a challenge to build supplies to meet demand in the 2020s,” Maarten Wetselaar, who heads Shell’s integrated gas and new energies sector, said. “Our investment cycle is coming to an end with the Prelude [floating LNG plant in Western Australia] coming on stream this year. We will have the space to take investment decisions, (but) it doesn’t necessarily mean we will spend the money.”
Australia and the United States are facing off in a race to become the world’s top LNG exporter, but the former nation is struggling to meet domestic demand for the fuel. Recently, S&P Platts quoted industry sources as saying that bans on the development of unconventional gas resources will deepen the supply/demand imbalance in eastern Australia. Fortescue Metal’s chairman Andrew Forrest and two Japanese utilities plan to build an LNG import terminal in New South Wales by 2020 to help alleviate an energy crunch in Australia’s most populous state. Bloomberg reports that the terminal will have an annual capacity of 2 million tons of LNG. The project will include offshore gas production facilities as well.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…