Global demand for LNG hit 359m tonnes in 2019 - Shell
Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 12.5% to 359 million tonnes in 2019, according to Shell’s latest annual LNG Outlook published on Wednesday.
The figures boost LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.
The latest figures also showed that the industry broke a record of 40m tonnes of additional supply becoming available and being consumed by the market.
Increased demand also triggered record investment decisions in liquefaction capacity of 71m tonnes.
Natural gas emits between 45% and 55% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less than one-tenth of the air pollutants than coal when used to generate electricity.
“The global LNG market continued to evolve in 2019 with demand increasing for LNG and natural gas in power and non-power sectors,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell.
“Record supply investments will meet people’s growing need for the most flexible and cleanest-burning fossil fuel," he added.
“While we see weak market conditions today due to record new supply coming in, two successive mild winters and the Coronavirus situation, we expect equilibrium to return, driven by a combination of continued demand growth and reduction in new supply coming on-stream until the mid-2020s.”
The figures from Shell also showed that Europe absorbed the majority of 2019 supply growth as the coal-to-gas switch in the power sector is closer to completion. It also replaced declining domestic gas production and pipeline gas imports on the continent.
There was a modest rise in imports to Asia in 2019, compared to the previous two years, with China's increasing by 14% as efforts to improve urban air quality continued.
Over the longer-term, global LNG demand is expected to double to 700m tonnes by 2040, according to forecasts.