Editorial Comment

Adrienne Blume, Managing Editor

Australia and Middle Eastern countries, which have been net LNG exporters, are now foraying into LNG imports due to supply issues. We expect the two regions to increase their gas imports over the next decade, despite both being large reserve holders.

Middle Eastern countries collectively hold more than 40% of global gas reserves. LNG imports into the region more than doubled between 2014 and 2016, and could nearly double again by 2020. The Middle East has sufficient regasification capacity at FSRUs to meet these imports; whereas Australia must fast-track regas facilities to import foreign supplies, due to recent gas supply shortages in Australia’s southern states.

Piping gas from gas-rich Queensland in northern Australia to the southern markets is expensive, which is making LNG imports viable—but renegotiation of tariffs could help solve this issue in 2020. Regardless, five LNG import projects are competing to start up between 2021 and 2022. Australia appears to be overbuilding its regas capacity in response to having overbuilt its LNG export capacity.

Meanwhile, the Middle East plans to add 15 MMtpy–18 MMtpy of regas capacity by the early 2020s, in part to meet rapidly rising domestic gas demand, and in part due to challenges in developing sour gas fields and non-associated gas reserves. The Middle East also flares and reinjects significant volumes of gas.

For more information and forecasts for spending, construction projects and market trends in LNG and gas processing, see the Natural Gas/LNG section of the “HPI Market Data 2020” report, published by Hydrocarbon Processing in November 2019. GP


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