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Global LNG Navigating Risks in a Dynamic Market

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Global LNG Navigating Risks in a Dynamic Market

Liquified natural gas (LNG) has been a traded commodity for more than a century. But only in the last couple of decades has the market expanded to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy, through low carbon emissions energy sources. With the development of the massive Qatar LNG facilities in the mid-1990s and the increasing demand for imported gas, global LNG trading has grown from about 50 MTPA in 1990 to more than 350 MTPA in 2020.

Most energy commodities struggled with lower trade and consumption volumes under the pandemic-induced industrial shutdowns in 2020. LNG trade was, however, up slightly at 0.4% during the year, continuing its uninterrupted streak of year-over-year growth since 1996. However, that growth was far below rates in the preceding years which averaged 7% since 2004.

While consistently growing, the global LNG market appears to be at a crossroad, with new and expanded sources of supply coming online over the next decade. This is during an uncertain demand curve influenced by environmental regulations, renewable energy resources, and price volatility. Most forecasts predict annual global LNG demand will be around 700 MT by 2040, doubling the demand of 356 MT at year end 2020.

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