The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts strong growth for worldwide liquefied natural gas trade through 2015.
EIA notes that eight nations export LNG (Indonesia, Algeria, Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Abu Dhabi, Libya, and the U.S.) and eight import it Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Belgium, France, Spain, Turkey, and the U.S.).
LNG trade jumped 44% during 1990-96, rising from 2.6 tcf to 3.6 tcf.
The largest consumers were in Asia, which imported more than 2.8 tcf of LNG in 1996, more than 75% of world output. Japan is the largest user, importing in 1996 about two-thirds of the world's total LNG trade of 3.6 tcf. South Korea was second at 13% and Taiwan third at 3%.
EIA said that, despite the success of individual projects and its regional importance, LNG overall accounts for only 5% of world gas consumption and so far has had only a marginal influence on world patterns of gas use.
The role of gas in the world's energy supply is growing rapidly.
EIA predicts total world gas demand will reach 145 tcf by 2015, an 85% increase from 1995.
The highest growth rates in gas demand are projected for the developing countries, where overall demand is expected to rise 5%/year during 1995-2015. Developing Asia is expected to see gas consumption increases of almost 8%/year.
EIA said that if world nations impose caps on carbon emissions to combat global warming, gas could get an additional boost, because the same level of energy derived from burning gas saves 50% of carbon emissions …