Energy for the 21st Century

Energy for the 21st Century

Opportunities and Challenges for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Susan L. Sakmar

Countries around the world are increasingly looking to liquefied natural gas (LNG) – natural gas that has been cooled until it forms a transportable liquid – to meet growing energy demand. Energy for the 21st Century provides critical insights into the opportunities and challenges LNG faces, including its potential role in a carbon-constrained world.

Chapter 4: Global LNG supply

Susan L. Sakmar

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental law, law - academic, energy law, environmental law


Although worldwide natural gas resources are sufficient to meet projected increases in demand, it should be noted that almost half of the world’s proved natural gas reserves are found in just three countries: Russia, Iran and Qatar (Table 4.1). With the world’s largest proved natural gas reserves, the Middle East and Africa are expected to account for 72 percent of the increase in natural gas exports by 2030, mainly to supply Europe and North America, although Australia is also emerging as a key LNG exporter (see Chapter 8) and also potentially the US and Canada (see Chapters 11 and 12). Recent analysis of supply expectations predicted that global LNG supply would rise 44 percent from 2007 to 2010 but would be backend loaded due to project delays. LNG supply was expected to rise from 22.3 bcf/d in 2007 to 32.2 bcf/d by 2010 but project delays in Norway, Nigeria, and Qatar shifted the expected supply growth to later years with only approximately 1 bcf/d incremental supplies added in 2008 and 3 bcf/d in 2009. As discussed in detail below, the expected “first wave” of LNG eventually hit between 2009 and mid-2011 with an anticipated “second wave” of LNG capacity due to come on-stream starting in 2014.

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