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2 Apr 28 2011 @ 9:53am by Matt Smith in Global Energy, Natural Gas, UK natural gas

LNG: It’s a gas! (…and 9 other facts)

Charles Dickens* is more closely linked to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) than you think. He is attributed with the origins of the phrase ‘it’s a gas’ (= fact no.1), as it is derived from his quote ‘everything is gas and goiters’. (A goiter is the swelling of the thyroid gland. Let’s move on, swiftly…). Here are nine other facts about LNG you can drop into conversation at a cocktail party:

2) Japan is the largest consumer of LNG in the world, accounting for approximately 40%. In addition to this, over half of the shortfall from the loss of nuclear capacity from the earthquake in March is expected to be met by ramping up LNG imports.

3) LNG volume is 600 times smaller in its liquid form than when as a gas. It is cooled to -260°F for shipment / storage. Hence its appeal to be transported long distances by tankers.

4) Global output of LNG reached a record of 21.8 million metric tons in March, up 15% this year on 2010 levels. The rise is in large part attributable to an increase in Qatari production.  

5) South Korea is the second largest consumer of LNG in the world. The UK is set to pass Spain this month to become the third largest consumer (meeting over a quarter of the UK’s total natural gas demand so far this year). The rapid increase in UK imports is overwhelmingly attributable to Qatari supply:

UK LNG Imports by Country, Green = Qatar (source: Bloomberg)

6) To build an LNG export terminal in the US it takes up to six years; up to half of this time for the engineering and permit approval, and the other half for construction.  

7) Qatar is the largest exporter of  LNG in the world, and holds approximately a quarter of the world’s liquefaction capacity.

8) The US imports approximately 1 Bcf/d of LNG, currently 1.5% of total supply this year. In a word; insignificant.

US LNG Imports vs Total Supply: Insignificant (source: Bentek)

9) The only LNG export terminal in the US (in Kenai, Alaska) is being closed – hence the next fully functioning export terminal could be as far as half a decade away.

10) China is to quadruple their imports of LNG by 2015 to 25 million metric tons.

*click on the picture to launch to a great and succinct cartoon summary of the life of Charles Dickens

2 Comments on this post:

  1. Juan Valdez says:

    the picture will not launch so I can get to cartoon….can your IT folks help me? I will send you over a coffee is so.

  2. Matt Smith says:

    I’m sorry, Juan; it’s your IT folks’ fault, not mine. But feel free to still send coffee. Gracias / rock on.

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