Opportunities and Challenges for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Chapter 12: Emerging issues in the LNG industry
As this book goes to print, there are a number of emerging issues that highlight some of the opportunities and challenges the industry will encounter in the coming decades, although there will no doubt be many more than can be envisioned at the time of this writing, with new potential issues emerging on an almost daily basis. Perhaps one of the most dramatic opportunities is the possibility of North American LNG exports, which was discussed in detail in Chapter 11 but, because of its potential significance, is highlighted again in this chapter with a discussion of the most recent developments (Section 12.2). A related emerging issue that may make US LNG exports more viable is the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will allow larger ships to transit the canal upon its expected completion in 2014 (Section 12.3). On the technical side, one of the key emerging issues is the development of the world’s first floating LNG (FLNG) liquefaction terminal, the Shell Prelude project. If successful, the Prelude project could pave the way for other floating LNG projects, which are expected to be a growing segment in the global LNG industry (Section 12.4).