As we move into Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter, the weather’s getting colder, and the mornings are getting darker. This is going to increase the demand for energy, and, as one of the leading solutions to energy security issues (especially following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine), the demand for LNG.
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The use of LNG in recent years has grown dramatically, as countries seek to move away from fossil fuels: the global LNG market has more than doubled in size since 2011,1 and the ramp-up of new supply projects, especially in the US, is forecast to raise global supply to 460 million t, up 19% from 2021.2
US LNG exports averaged 11.1 billion ft3/d during 1H22, and the country’s US export capacity is likely to grow, with three additional projects to begin construction.3 Stabilis Solutions has also received recent approval from the U.S. Department of Energy to export domestically produced LNG to all free trade and non-free trade countries for a term of 28 years.4
This interest in LNG was further evident at Gastech, which took place in Milan, Italy, last month – it was a record-breaking event, with more than 750 exhibiting companies and 39 467 visitors over the course of the event.5
One of the key points of discussion at Gastech was decarbonisation. The emission intensity of LNG is a pertinent question for the industry, with bodies, such as the International Maritime Organization, having set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing methane emissions are of particular importance to the LNG industry, as they are estimated to have a global warming potential of 27 – 30 over 100 years. With this aim in mind, a new technology accelerator has been launched to identify, accelerate, and advocate technology solutions for the maritime industry to measure and manage methane emissions activity. Led by Safetytech Accelerator, established by Lloyd’s Register, the Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation Initiative is a technology acceleration programme whose activities will be supported by seven partners. To date, there are no globally recognised methods for measuring methane slip, and defining what constitutes negligible methane emissions, and then ensuring the sector meets that target, is therefore a vital imperative for an industry grappling with its climate footprint and increasingly using LNG as a transition fuel. It is hoped that the new solutions identified by the innovation initiative will help the industry to understand the extent of, and then manage, their methane emissions activities.6
It takes several years to build new facilities, which could pose a strain on demand growth, if the resources are not available to meet this. However, with many new projects being proposed, planned, or under construction; the number of LNG carriers increasing; and an active attempt to tackle the environmental impacts, the future for LNG looks to be bright.
- ‘Gas crisis lands LNG cargo market in hands of energy giants’, Reuters, (2022).
- ‘Global LNG outlook overview: Tight supply expected until 2026’, Bloomberg, (2022).
- ‘U.S. LNG export capacity to grow as three additional projects begin construction’, U.S. Energy Information Administration, (2022).
- ‘Stabilis Solutions Receives DOE Approval to Export LNG’, Stabilis Solutions, (2022).
- ‘Agenda-setting Gastech 2022 concludes with record attendance’, Gastech Event, (8 September 2022).
- ‘New tech accelerator launched to reduce maritime methane emissions’, Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation Initiative, (2022).