North America leading rise in global LNG liquefaction capacity growth by 2019

Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity would more than double from 341 million tonnes per annum (MMtpa) in 2015 to 811 MMtpa by 2019 based on proposed natural gas liquefaction projects, according to GlobalData.

The company’s latest report (“Global Capacity and Capital Expenditure Outlook for LNG Terminals – US to Shake Up Global LNG Market with Staggering Pipeline of Planned Liquefaction Projects”) states that the scale of the North American project pipeline is unparalleled, totaling 32 individual liquefaction plants with over 287 MMtpa of capacity through the end of the decade. Dramatic liquefaction capacity growth is also anticipated in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Matthew Jurecky, GlobalData’s head of Oil & Gas Research and Consulting, commented that this massive infrastructure buildout in the US is driven by unconventional gas in North America.

“Years of lobbying for regulatory approval and building out liquefaction capacity has paid off, and the global market will now have to make room for significant increasing volumes of North American gas,” Jurecky said. “Shale operators in North America have eyed international markets since 2009, when BG Group entered into a joint venture with EXCO Resources in the Haynesville shale play. Shortly after, in 2010, the first application for an LNG export facility in the US was made by Cheniere, before BG announced a long-term LNG sale and purchase agreement with Cheniere in 2011. With Shell acquiring BG in early 2015, the global LNG leader is now also lined up behind the emerging US shale gas export market.”

Jurecky added that the capital expenditure required to execute the planned global projects is estimated at $700 billion, almost half of which is allocated to projects in North America. The analyst also stated that global LNG regasification capacity is expected to grow by around 50%, from 41 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2015 to 60 tcf by 2019.

“The massive growth in liquefaction is commensurate with the proposed growth in regasification capacity,” Jurecky said. “Continued demand growth in Asia and an alternative to pipeline natural gas in Europe underlies the $34 billion in capital expenditure behind new LNG regasification projects.

China and India will lead regasification additions, with a combined $20.6 billion proposed to increase regasification capacity by 7 tcf in the two countries by 2019. In Europe, Canatxx LNG Ltd. is planning a massive LNG import terminal in the UK with a total capacity of over 1 tcf.”


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