Nigeria and Australia have been tipped to make the largest exports amid feelings that the latter could upstage Qatar to become the World’s largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exporter by 2030, report by British maritime classification society, Lloyd’s Register, has said.
In the report titled ‘Global Marine Trends 2030’, the major seaborne LNG trade routes in 2030 will be Australia to Japan and Australia to China, while Nigeria to China and the United Kingdom (UK) will be one of the routes with large increases. Others are Egypt to India and the UK; CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) to Japan; and Qatar to India and the UK.
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and world’s seventh largest in terms of proven natural gas reserves, is exporting LNG from its six trains, and capable of producing 22 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG and 5 mtpa of Natural Gas Liquids from 3.5 billion standard cubic feet per day natural gas intake.
The Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) in its ‘Facts and Figures on NLNG 2013’ made available to BusinessDay, plans to build a seventh train that will lift the total production capacity to 30 mtpa and are currently progressing with some preliminary early site preparation work initiated.
The 8.4 mtpa Train 7 project was said to be awaiting Final Investment Decision (FID) by the shareholders.
Nigeria exported 17.97 million metric tons of LNG in 2010, making the country the fifth largest LNG exporter in the world and the largest LNG exporter in the Atlantic Basin, according to U.S Energy Information Administration.
Nigeria’s share of global LNG market dropped in 2011, from 10 percent to 7 percent, mainly due to lack of recent capacity increase and rising production from Qatar and Australia.
Babs Jolayemi Omotowa, managing director, NLNG, had recently said that LNG exports to the United States (US) were in steep decline, following the sharp drop in gas prices in the US due to its increasing shale gas production.
“NLNG intends to consolidate its position as one of the largest producers and exporters of LNG in the world, maintaining its position as a major and strategic supplier. Currently, NLNG delivers some eight percent of the world’s LNG supply,” the company said.
In what is a move to increase LNG exports, the company stated that six new vessels are to be built between 2013 and 2016. Four of such are to be built by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries which recently won the 1 trillion Korean won ($895 million) contract order to build four LNG container ships for Nigeria’s Bonny Gas Transport, a shipping unit of NLNG.
“East Africa, in particular Mozambique, could be a new hotspot in LNG exports due to its recent large offshore discoveries,” said the Lloyd’s report.
Australia’s rise as a major exporter of LNG, as well as China and India’s increasing appetite for LNG imports, will impact fleet ownership, the shipbuilding sector, and the overall picture of the LNG sector in the years leading up to 2030, the report also said.