Published: July 17, 2023
By: Concentric Staff Writer
Global trading in liquefied natural gas (LNG) continues to rise, setting a new record in 2022 as European and Asian import dynamics changed due to the war in Ukraine and other factors came into play in other regions.
The new record in global LNG trade in 2022 was driven by a 5 percent rise in trade over the year before, with increases in LNG capacity occurring particularly in the U.S., the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its July 5 Today in Energy report. Global trade in LNG averaged 51.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2022, according to the EIA, using data compiled by France-based CEDIGAZ, the international association for natural gas. European demand contributed to the trade growth as the region moved away from Russian gas imports.
LNG exports from the U.S. rose 16 percent in 2022 from the previous year, rising 1.4 Bcf/d to 10.2 Bcf/d. Facilities such as the new Calcasieu Pass export project in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the seventh new such facility producing LNG since 2016, helped the U.S. become the top LNG exporter in the first half of 2022, EIA said.
However, in the second half of 2022, the Freeport LNG export terminal on the Gulf Coast in Texas shut down due to a fire, reducing its export capacity by about 2 Bcf/d. Qatar (10.5 Bcf/d) and Australia (10.4 Bcf/d) then took over as the top exporters for the year last year.
In 2022 LNG exports increased by a combined 1.3 Bcf/d from Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Russia, Oman, and Equatorial Guinea, according to the report. Disruptions in domestic natural gas production caused a combined LNG export reduction of 1.5 Bcf/d from Algeria and Nigeria.
Turkey had the largest increase in imports out of all countries in 2022, with a 65 percent increase equivalent to 6.5 Bcf/d compared to the previous year. Asian imports declined by 9 percent, and imports to Latin America declined by 34 percent. Imports into EU-27 countries increased by a high amount, EIA said, rising by 73 percent as the region moved away from Russian supply. About 85 percent of that import increase came from France, the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
In Asia, China surpassed Japan as the top importer in 2021, a position Japan had held for 50 years, but Japan reclaimed the top spot in 2022. China’s zero-Covid policies, increased pipeline imports from Russia, and increased coal usage drove that change. Record-high LNG prices on the spot market led Asian countries to reduce spot market purchases and led to an 18 percent decline in imports into India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in 2022, EIA said.
Brazil had the highest decrease in LNG imports among Latin American countries in 2022, rising by 70 percent (.6 Bcf/d), as higher hydroelectric power plant output displaced natural gas.
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