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Africa in focus

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LNG has become an important part of the global energy mix. However, Africa remains a region with plentiful gas reserves that is yet to fully utilise LNG technology to diversify and meet its growing energy needs.

After the commissioning of the Arzew GL4Z LNG (Algeria) and the Marsa el Brega LNG (Libya) projects in 1964 and 1970, respectively, the construction of liquefaction plants over the past 10 years has been limited to Bonny Island Train 5 – 6, Angola LNG Train 1, Gassi Touil (GL3Z LNG) and Skikda GL1K Phase 2 Replacement. Over the same period, import facilities have been practically restricted to floating units. The use of LNG for power generation in the region has been significantly limited. However, in decades ahead, the construction of both export and import terminals is expected to increase as a result of massive gas reserves in the remote East African basin.

The global population growth is one of the most important drivers of future energy demand. Meeting this continued upsurge in demand has led to widespread exploitation of the world’s fossil fuel reserves. However, emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have become an increasingly important consideration in recent decades. Climate change has emerged as key policy issue and, consequently, natural gas is seen by many as necessary to support the transition to low carbon energy. Proven to emit half of the greenhouse gases (GHG) of coal, natural gas provides a mechanism to rapidly reduce emissions and will see the highest fossil fuel demand growth to 2040. In 2015, the COP21 agreement outlined a clear roadmap to the reduction of GHG emissions. This is expected to be a key driver of changes to energy policy and growth in gas use. Beyond environmental concerns, seasonal gas demand is also a clear driver of LNG in Western Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. In these regions, rising LNG demand is often due to declining local gas production and not necessarily overall gas demand growth.

Globally, many basins with relatively low extraction costs have matured. Consequently, exploration and production (E&P) companies have been forced to develop higher cost plays, notably deepwater, heavy oil and oil sands. Conversely, the gas market has enjoyed a period of booming production underpinned by…..

This article was originally published in the July 2016 issue of LNG Industry magazine. To read the full version of this article, please sign in or register for a free trial subscription.

Written by Mark Adeosun, Douglas-Westwood, UK. Edited by

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