Strong demand growth for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Asia and the anticipated start-up of new import terminals in southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent will drive the demand for LNG to new heights in the next phase of development, said. RasGas Company Limited's (RasGas) Managing Director, Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, at the 25th World Gas Conference (WGC), currently being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Delivering one of the keynote addresses, "The Next Phase for Global LNG", at the five-day event, Al Mohannadi provided insights into LNG supply and demand region by region.
"The future looks very bright for LNG in Asia, driven by established countries as well as new importers. South Korea and Taiwan have rebounded strongly from the recession, with a steady increase in LNG demand forecast. RasGas has supported their need for secure supplies," he said.
Al Mohannadi also pointed out that there is huge unmet potential demand growth in China and India as these two nations search the globe for clean energy sources. He argued that while coal has been the conventional fuel of choice in Asia, natural gas has an opportunity to seize an increased role in the market as environmental concerns increase.
Moving to the European market, he pointed out that a shift away from nuclear power, combined with a reduction in subsidies for renewables will mean that natural gas will play a key role in electricity generation. But he cautioned that if "Europe really wants to 'walk the walk' and deliver a sustainable and efficient low carbon energy system, policy makers must ensure that companies are sufficiently incentivized to use lower carbon forms of electricity generation".
In the Middle East, Al Mohannadi said, the development of floating regasification terminals in Kuwait and Dubai and the newly planned ones in Fujairah and Bahrain augurs well for the natural gas sector as it offers an affordable alternative to burning liquids which can instead be exported to take advantage of robust oil prices. He believes that this Middle Eastern demand growth for natural gas will prove to be increasingly significant and could lead to new supply arrangements in the region.
In the North American economies, especially the USA, Al Mohannadi sees great potential for growth in natural gas demand, especially in the road transportation and petrochemical sectors. "Abundant natural gas," he said, "can fuel a renaissance in the U S economy."
Al Mohannadi's presentation also touched on the challenges which will influence the future of gas supply across the globe. "In recent years we have come to realize that gas itself is abundant. But bringing much needed new sources of supply to the market will prove to be an immense challenge. Whether developed by pipeline, LNG or a combination of both, the infrastructure investments required will be substantial," he said.
Al Mohannadi concluded his presentation stating that RasGas' ambitions for expanding market reach and Qatar's strategic location and state-of-the-art facilities, allow it to lead the next phase of global LNG.
Al Mohannadi emphasised that RasGas is a flexible, safe and reliable supplier of LNG and the company continues to be committed to meeting the growing global demand for clean, efficient and secure energy. "We have now supplied LNG to various customers in 16 countries across the globe and we are constantly seeking to expand our market reach," he said.
The triennial event, also known as the 'Olympics of the Gas Industry' brings together over 5,000 industry professionals as well as 10,000 trade visitors. This is RasGas' fourth consecutive participation in the industry event for which it is also a diamond sponsor.