The BP Energy Outlook 2035 has predicted that the global natural gas demand would grow by 1.9 per cent yearly, reaching around 490 billion cubic feet per day (bcfpd) by 2035.
The report released on Tuesday, expects the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market to experience a growth spurt with a slew of new projects adding 22 bcfpd by 2020.
Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and one of the world’s leading exporters of LNG. Despite the relatively large volumes it produces, Nigeria’s oil production is hampered by instability and supply disruptions, while the natural gas sector is restricted by the lack of infrastructure to monetize gas that is currently flared (burned off).
The Nigeria’s LNG Bonny plant produces over 22 million metric tonne yearly of LNG, but plans to build a seventh train and increase output to 30 million mt/year, have failed to materialize.
The BP added that the LNG supply would grow by 7.8 per cent yearly between 2013-20.
It said that overall, LNG supply grows by 48 Bcfpd by 2035, with Australia (16 Bcfpd) and the US (14 Bcfpd) each contributing around a third of that increase.
According to the report, African LNG supply, led by East Africa, will increase by 12 Bcfpd. “As a result, Qatar, which has the largest market share today, is overtaken by Australia (24 per cent share of the market by 2035), Africa (21 per cent), and the US (18 per cent).
“Asia is the largest destination for LNG, with its share in global LNG demand remaining above 70 per cent. By 2035, China becomes the second largest LNG importer (12 Bcfpd), just behind Japan (13 Bcfpd).
Europe’s share of global LNG imports rises from 16 per cent to 19 per cent between 2013 and 2035, with an additional 10 Bcf/d of LNG demand”.
The global trade is expected to grow by two per cent over, causing the share of gas consumption supplied via traded gas to increase marginally.
Traded gas supplied via pipelines declines as a share of consumption, reflecting the pivoting of import demand away from the US and Europe and towards Asia.
It explained: “In contrast, gas supplied via LNG grows by 4.3 per cent yearly more than twice as fast as total trade. As a result, LNG becomes the dominant form of traded gas by the end of the Outlook.
“The greater ability of LNG supplies to respond to varying movements in demand and supply across the world means that gas deficit regions such as Asia Pacific are able to attract larger LNG supplies by paying a premium over other markets.
“In the long run, increased LNG supplies lead to more integrated markets, with gas prices moving in greater unison across regions.
Europe’s gas imports currently account for around 50 per cent of its total gas consumption. Over 80 per cent of these imports are via pipeline, the vast majority of which are from Russia”.
BP said that the European domestic production would declines by two per cent yearly, so that, even with only modest demand growth (0.8 per cent), almost three- quarters of Europe’s gas needs are met by imports by 2035.
It stated: “Growth of LNG means these imports are more diversified, with pipelines accounting for around two-thirds of imports and LNG the remainder.
“China, by contrast, enjoys strong growth in gas production (5.1 yearly) across all types of supply. Shale gas makes a significant contribution to growth (10 Bcfpd, 33 per cent yearly), with most of that increase coming in the last decade of the Outlook.
“Nonetheless, Chinese demand growth requires a rapid expansion of imports (7.6 per cent) via both LNG and pipelines. LNG overtakes pipeline supplies as the dominant form of Chinese gas imports by the 2030s”.