Reuters are reporting that the LNG industry needs to start planning for shortages even as analysts project a glut starting next year, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
The next wave of LNG projects is set to begin as early as this year, according to Bernstein analysts. That’s a more aggressive timetable than the company made in September, when it said investment decisions for the next group of plants would not come until 2019.
Energy companies will approve investments for more than 150 million tpy of new supply capacity over the next four years. By comparison, global consumption was 286 million t in 2017. Projects in Qatar, Papua New Guinea, Russia and the US are most economically appealing, followed by Mozambique, Australian expansion projects and an Alaskan mega-project, Bernstein reported.
Demand grew by about 10% last year, led by emerging markets and especially China, where coal-to-gas switching policies have the country on track to surpass Japan as the world’s biggest LNG importer by 2030. New projects coming online over the next few years will result in excess production capacity of as much as 54 million t in 2020, but the market will remain tight in winter when demand increases.
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