2015 was a landmark year for liquefied natural gas, industry groups confirmed this week. According to the Houston Chronicle's Fuel Fix, Australia, and Indonesia are behind the rise in sales due to the shipments to Europe and the Middle East.
LNG shipments reportedly grew by 2.5 percent to 245.2 million tons per year in 2015. The stats come from the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL). However, 2016 is not reporting as strong numbers in the first quarter of the year, but GIIGNL does not seem detered by the figures and are ready to report even more imports than last year.
CNBC is reporting that prices have hit an 18-year-low in the LNG market.
Graeme Bethune, chief executive of consulting firm EnergyQuest, spoke to CNBC, saying, "Cleaner and greener are part of it; lower prices are part of it. The other important part of it is also energy security."
GIIGNL president, Domenico Dispenza, said: "In a global context of lower energy prices and sluggish economic growth, the LNG industry is holding its breath for the impact of an export wave from the United States."
However, through the slump, companies are confident that new customers are on their way. Chairman of the French Gas Association, Jerome Ferrier, said: "We are seeing countries with a long...tradition in consuming and producing coal moving to natural gas."
OilPrice.com is more grim about the situation, however. They led with a headline saying: Why LNG Markets Might Not Balance Before 2025 . The website says the worldwide interest in LNG liquefaction capacity is reminiscent of "gold rushes" of the past. Wim de Vriend, who wrote the article over at OilPrice says LNG markets are reporting that the first 100 million tonnes per annum of production happening right now is expected to be absorbed by 2020. However, De Vriend thinks that is an unrealistic goal and cannot be done until at least 2025.
Who to trust? Who is right? Who is wrong? Only time will tell in LNG markets as business both looks positive and negative.