New Asian Importers Shaking Up World LNG Market

New Asian Importers Shaking Up World LNG Market

The Asian market for liquid natural gas is being transformed as Thailand, Pakistan and others join the ranks of importers and consumption grows rapidly in China and India, resulting in a fundamental shift in a market that had long been dominated by Japan and South Korea as major customers.

Economic growth has been a driver in the change, as has the introduction of inexpensive floating off-loading terminals for the fuel. Asia now accounts for 70% of global demand for LNG.

Southeast Asian nations had long supplied LNG to countries such as Japan and South Korea. Thailand broke with the pack in 2011, when it became the first nation in the region to start importing the fuel. Malaysia, a perennial heavyweight exporter, soon followed, as well as Brunei.

That trend has led to plentiful business opportunities for energy companies. Indonesia, another big exporter, began consuming LNG in 2012. But because it signed long-term export contracts with the likes of Japan, it has no choice but to meet internal demand through imports. Read More…

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