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Singapore to establish domestic natural gas trading market

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LNG Industry,

According to Reuters, Singapore aims to liberalise its current gas market in order to bolster LNG trading hub plans in Asia. Singapore wants to take advantage of the growth in both LNG supplies, such as those from Australia, and buyers in Asia, such as China. Singapore currently sources over 90% of its total electricity from natural gas imports, such as LNG, but users of the gas are still buying it through bilateral contracts.

Reuters reports that S. Iswaran, the Minister for Trade and Industry in Singapore, said at the opening of Singapore’s International Energy Week: “(A domestic gas market) will allow domestic gas price discovery that reflects Singapore's demand and supply conditions.”

Reportedly, Singapore Exchange told Reuters that it aims to develop an Asian benchmark for LNG in order to stop the reliance on oil-related pricing indexes. Japan, which is the world’s largest importer of LNG, is competing with Singapore to be the regional centre of LNG trade in Asia, and is already in the process of liberalising its domestic electricity market. China is also a potential competitor, although it is currently far behind both Japan and Singapore.

Iswaran concluded: “(We) will take steps to systematically develop the market, following reviews of gas trading in other jurisdictions such as Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.”

Edited from various sources by David Rowlands

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