LNG Supply Overview - from a shipping perspective

LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas at minus 161.5°C is by far one of the most difficult commodities to transport. LNG is presently shipped in vessels with an average capacity of 138000 m³, containing about 64000 tons of liquid product and expressed in energy terms it contains about 3200000 MMBTU’s. The full load of one shipment represents a cargo value of about 21M USD, or 16M Euros.

Currently LNG supplies are forecast to triple from 140 million tones p.a. in 2007 to 420 million tones p.a. in 2016.

Qatar now the worlds largest exporter of LNG, expects to be exporting 77 M.tpa by 2011. With 70 LNG carriers supporting that project alone

The LNG shipping market, currently transports over 25 per cent of total annual natural gas trade.

The majority of known natural gas reserves are in Russia, the Middle East and Africa. The major future consumers – Western Europe, industrialised Asia and the USA – have only limited reserves of their own.

Natural gas is the fastest growing source of primary energy. Global consumption is expected to double before 2025. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that natural gas met 23 per cent of the world’s energy demand in 2001
and is forecasting this to rise to about 28 per cent by 2025. Consumption has increased mainly because natural gas is more environment-friendly than coal, which it predominantly replaces, combined with the global rise of gas-fired power
generation. Global reserves of natural gas recently surpassed oil reserves, and gas is still being discovered in large quantities.

A recent pollution assessment of a modern LNG port identified that the funnel smoke from the tug boat was the single biggest source of pollution in the port.

It has boldly been stated that coal was the fuel of the 19th century and oil the fuel of the 20th century. LNG is purported as being the fuel of the 21st century, on the merits of its availability and environmental benefits in the current world energy market.