(578b) LNG Market and Technology

Authors: 
Zhang, J., CH-IV International Inc.
According to the latest projections by the United States Energy Information Agency (EIA), US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports are predicted to increase to 88 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) in 2040, equivalent to 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas per year (Tcf/yr). This is a significant increase from an almost non-existent net export in 2012. This increase in export capacity is driven by long term global trends. EIA projections show world energy consumption increasing by 48% by year 2040. Over 80% of this increase is expected to take place in non-OECD Asia, a group which includes China and India. Specific to the LNG market, the shortfall in non-OECD Asian gas demand will widen from 0.5 Tcf/yr in 2012 to 17.5 Tcf/yr in 2040. In the US, the natural gas balance will increase from a deficit of 1.5 Tcf/yr in 2012 to a surplus of 5.6 Tcf/year in 2040. This paper seeks to expand upon and validate the summarized analysis from the EIA by aggregating available data from active LNG projects.

A comprehensive tally of existing, federally authorized (both under construction and not under construction), and proposed LNG import and export facilities is compiled. The information includes construction location, export capacity, liquefaction technology, and (projected) start up dates for these facilities. The data is analyzed to determine the most utilized liquefaction technologies by export capacity and is used to validate the EIA LNG export projections. The paper provides a high level comparison between the most dominant liquefaction technologies and presents guidelines for the evaluation of LNG projects based on required liquefaction capacity and project economics.

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