Recent years have been good to LNG, sustaining constant but less than sensational growth for this fuel type. According to a report by the Oil Review Middle East, global natural gas demand grew by 1.6% in 2015. This is still modest compared to the ten-year high of 2.2%.
Experts in the sector have attributed this stunted growth to a number of factors that have been dogging the market since 2014. On one hand, LNG is hampered by competition with cheaper coal (and in China’s case petroleum), as well as the expansion of nuclear energy and renewables. At the same time, there is weak growth and a stagnant wider economy.
LNG also saw +1.3% growth in production during 2015, and once again the industry is led by the United States, in spite of declining yields during extraction and treatment processes.
The world has thus consumed more LNG in 2015 (+1.5%), recovering from a period of relative stagnation (+0.3%) in 2014. However, experts warn that the recovery is confined to Europe, which remains the fuel’s primary importer region. In Asia and Oceania, LNG consumption has remained largely stable during this time, interrupting three decades of sustained growth.