With some 40 proposed projects planning to export annually nearly 400 million tonnes of LNG in total, North America offers the most promise for global LNG trade growth, Zeus Development Corporation concludes from its 2013 survey in advance of the North American LNG Exports conference next week.
LNG has been the darling of the global energy industry since the 1970s, when Asian buyers entered the market to supplant imported oil and improve their environments. Growth has averaged 8 percent per year.
“Eight percent growth on 250 million tonnes of trade, however, is a tough pace to maintain,” said George Popps, LNG analyst at Zeus. “That requires the industry to double every ten years. To produce 250 million more tonnes of trade, the industry will have to build 300 million tonnes of export capacity at an investment of perhaps $300 billion.”
Dozens of energy companies are proposing export terminals to be located across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Of the projects, 28 are located in the U.S., three of which are on the East Coast, 20 on the Gulf Coast, two on the West Coast and three in Alaska. Developers propose another nine projects in Canada, six on the West Coast and three on the East. Mexico offers three more projects, two on the West Coast and one on the Gulf Coast.
Debate remains over how many projects and what volumes of exports are in the interest of North America’s integrated gas market. While the three countries are interconnected by many cross-border pipelines to form the world’s largest gas market under the North American Free Trade Agreement, no overarching government authority manages trade to third-party importers, which opens the door for competition between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to win project investment.
“It will be interesting to see how these three sovereignties react to plans to export LNG,” Popps said. “The stage is set for investors to pit one government against another to gain the best terms. States and provinces differ in their views from federal governments as well. We look forward to discussing this at next week’s conference.”
LNG World News Staff, December 05, 2013