Commentary: LNG Markets Are Heating Up

Methane is the most promising fossil fuel of which we know.  It delivers more energy per pound than any known fossil fuel and; when supplied with enough oxygen, also burns very cleanly – that means does not have any incomplete combustion nor free radicals.

However, there are some roadblocks stopping LNG from proliferating in the energy markets.  One problem is determining who are going to be the major suppliers and consumers.  Another problem is infrastructure like export terminals and import terminals – the costs for these terminals are tremendous.  And finally, transportation and storage.

LNG Christophe

The world is moving away from dirty fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, tar sands, etc.  The process is slow unfortunately.  Thus, 2019, from what the experts appear to be saying, will not be a big year for LNG; rather 2020 – 2022.  Questions like markets and infrastructure are still being decided.

A few things do look clear and that is who the major players will be in producing and consuming LNG.  The major producers will be USA, Russia, Qatar, Australia, and Mozambique.  The major consumers will be China, India, Japan, and Europe.  Exactly which markets will go to whom appears in flux right now; but you can rest assured that cooperation is needed between nations – they must work together to figure out who will capture which markets, and that will be based on production and transportation costs.

At a glance, it appears that the USA and Russia will share the European and Chinese demand markets.  Australia, Qatar, and Mozambique will also supply Asia.  For now, things appear to be shaping up like this at the moment.  But as was said earlier, cooperation between nations is required.

Much has been said about President Trump not confronting Russia about various espionage issues recently.  The fact of the matter is that the world is going to require Russia’s cooperation.  Russia has enormous influence in nations like China, India, Kazakhstan, Iran, and the Middle East – historical, political, and cultural.

I am surprised that Russia appears to have kept silent about US espionage and international meddling.  Over the decades so many American business men and journalists around the world have been arrested for suspected espionage – most of the time they are held then expelled.  A prime example is Nicaragua in the 1980s where many CIA advisers were sent to train the Contras, who were then trying to overturn the Sandinistas.  The net effect being the Iran-Contra scandal.

LNG is going to be BIG; but, much international cooperation is needed.  By the way, all those LNG vessels are going to need safe shipping lanes.  The USA protects a large part of the world’s oceans, allowing commercial vessels to travel securely.  Sounds to me like this is a good time for Trump to make the rest of the NATO countries pay up their fair share of the costs.

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