21 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria ranked 4th Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, exporter by share globally between 2015 and 2016, the International Gas Union World LNG 2017 report has revealed.
The country maintained this position as one of the top-five LNG exporters in the world despite Nigeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, production dropping by 1.8 million tons in 2016.
The order of top five exporters by share is Qatar, Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Indonesia.
According to the report, Qatar produced 77.2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) accounting for 29.9% of global volum, Australia produced 44.3 MTPA, or 17.2%, Malaysia produced 25 MTPA, or 9.7%, Nigeria, 18.6 MTPA, or 7.2%, and Indonesia, 16.6 MTPA, or 6.4% share.
The number of exporting countries returned to 18 in 2016 as Angola and Egypt (Egyptian LNG) both returned to producing LNG.
The Pacific Basin provided the majority of new supply, as 15.0 MT of additional LNG was exported from Australia alone.
Yemen, which exported LNG during the first half of 2015, did not export a single cargo in 2016 due to ongoing instability in the country.
The US, although nominally an LNG-exporting country in 2015 via the Kenai LNG plant in Alaska and minor re-exported volumes, began LNG exports from the US GOM Sabine Pass LNG.
With exports of 77.2 MT, Qatar continued to be the largest LNG exporter, a position it has now held for over a decade.
Qatar’s global market share has dropped to just under 30% as its production remains stable while other countries have grown.
With a full year of production at its first two trains, as well as additional expansion trains, the US will be able to move up the ranks of producers again in 2017.
Angola is poised to benefit from a full year of production in 2017.
Production from Trinidad decreased for the third consecutive year as feedstock shortages at Atlantic LNG persist. Declines were also evident in Yemen, although this is merely a continuation of the force majeure from last year.
Although it had a strong year in 2015, NLNG production dropped by 1.8 MT in 2016, as sabotage in the Niger Delta region affected midstream operations and the facility went through extended maintenance during the first half of the year.
In North Africa, Egypt’s ELNG facility was able to begin exporting LNG again after Shell reached an agreement for limited feedstock from Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
Algerian LNG production decreased for the second consecutive year, although this was due to a sharp rise in pipeline gas exports to Italy as Algerian domestic production rose.
Europe’s only LNG-producing country, Norway, produced just slightly more LNG than in 2015, a record 4.3 MT for the country via Snøhvit LNG.
Re-exported volumes remained relatively stable YOY, at 4.4 MT.
The number of countries once again remained at 10, however, this included no re-exports by India and a restart of re-export activity by Brazil.
Brazilian re-exported cargoes were generally sent to points in South America, however, alone re-export was sent to India in December.
The US remained the only country to both re-export LNG in addition to exporting domestically-sourced gas.
As in the past four years, Mexico again did not utilize its re-export capabilities in 2016, while Europe registered a decrease of 0.2 MT in re-exports, according to the report.
However, this conceals the major shift in re-exports from Spain (-1.2 MT) to France (+0.9 MT).
Given high resurgent spot prices in the Pacific Basin as well as tenders offered by short-term buyers, 20 cargoes were re-exported from French terminals in 2016.
UK and Belgian re-exports inched up (+0.2 MT and +0.1 MT, respectively), while Dutch re-exports dropped (-0.2 MT).
The group also said that re-export trade will continue to face pressure as additional LNG supply enters the market globally, reducing the number of cross-basin arbitrage opportunities as buyers are able to source from their respective regions.
Additionally, the gap between European and East Asian spot prices is set to diminish as the market shifts into a period of oversupply.
How players with large supply portfolios choose to manage those volumes, including portfolio optimization to take advantage of seasonal arbitrage opportunities, will also determine any change in re-export trade moving forward, it said.
It again said regional trade had been dominated by the Middle East, owing to Qatar’s industry-leading 77 MT of nameplate capacity.
However, additions in Australia during 2016 (as well as commercial volumes from Indonesia’s Donggi-Senoro LNG), had helped Asia Pacific take the lead role in LNG production at 99.5 MT (+15.4 MT YOY). Only Asia Pacific and North America saw gains in market share in 2016, with all other regions’ market shares decreasing.
African exports were down due to decreases in Algeria, Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, despite the return of Angola and Egypt (ELNG) as exporting countries.
Latin American production (Trinidad and Peru) was also down due to feedstock issues at Atlantic LNG, while European and FSU exports held constant in absolute value, resulting in a drop in market share for those regions. North American production began the first of what is likely to be a number of years of increasing output, exporting 1.1% of global LNG in 2016, the report said.