Liquefied Natural Gas – Insights
Liquefied natural gas is an odorless and colorless liquid, which is formed by cooling natural gas to -1620C. The liquefaction process shrinks the volume of gas by 600 times, making it easier to store and ship. When liquefied natural gas reaches to its destination, it is again converted into gas by regasification process and transported through vessels and pipes to end-use consumers. Liquefied natural gas is an emerging fuel due to its cleanest burning nature as compared to petrol, diesel, and other fuels. Key drivers such as increasing demand for clean source of energy by end-use industries, government initiatives to strengthen gas pipeline infrastructure, and significant growth in global natural gas liquefaction capacity are expected to fuel growth of the global liquefied natural gas market over the forecast period. According to International Gas Union report, the global nominal natural gas liquefaction capacity is increased to 336.7 million tons per year in 2017, which was accounted to 304.4 million tons per year in 2015.
The liquefied natural gas market is highly fluctuating market due to larger dependency on oil prices. Mostly, spot price of liquefied natural gas in emerging markets is set via oil linkage. Moreover, changing trade and sales strategies across every region is propelling growth of the market. For instance, in Europe, wholesale gas is sold via long term contracts, whereas, in North America, gas prices are set at liquid trading hubs.
On the basis of application, power generation segment was the dominant segment with the highest market share in 2016 and is estimated to be the leading segment in the market over the forecast period. The increase in the power generation segment is owing to rising awareness and preference for cleaner sources of energy for power generation. For instance, according to Mexico’s National Energy Ministry (SENER), over 60% of Mexico’s electric capacity additions will be from natural gas-fired power plants, estimated for the period 2016-2020.
On the basis of region, the global liquefied natural gas market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Europe, and Africa. In 2016, Asia Pacific was the leading region with the highest market share in the market. The major attributes related to growth of Asia Pacific region in liquefied natural gas market is owing to the significant growth in natural gas liquefaction capacity in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia among others. For instance, according to International Gas Union report, in 2016, Australia and Malaysia exported around 44 million metric tons and 25 million metric tons of LNG respectively and accounted as major players after Qatar in LNG export. Asia Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing region and is expected to witness a CAGR of 13.0% during the forecast period.
According to a study by Coherent Market Insights, the global liquefied natural gas market was valued at US$ 7.23 billion in 2016 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 12.8% in terms of revenue over the forecast period (2017 – 2025).
Figure 1. Global Liquefied Natural Gas Market Share, by Region, 2016
Source: Coherent Market Insights 2017
Asia Pacific held highest revenue share of 38% in the global liquefied natural gas market, in 2016 and the region is projected to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. Middle East accounted for the second largest revenue share in global liquefied natural gas market in 2016 and is expected to maintain its position over the forecast period.
Major Players in the Global Liquefied Natural Gas Market
The major players operating in the global liquefied natural gas market include Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total SA, BP Plc, PetroChina, China Petroleum and Chemical Company, and Conoco Philips. Key players are strategically investing in the liquefied natural gas market to enhance their product portfolio through collaboration, joint ventures, and merger & acquisitions. For instance, in 2017, Qatar Petroleum’s Wave LNG Solutions and Shell Gas & Power Developments B.V. (Shell) signed a framework agreement to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fueling – or bunkering – infrastructure at strategic shipping locations across the globe.