EAGC: Japan concerned over rising LNG prices

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LAKE COMO, ITALY, Dec. 2 -- High LNG prices will affect LNG demand in Japan because it would not be competitive against electricity, warned Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd. Senior Vice-Pres. of LNG Europe, Kentaro Morikawa, at the European Autumn Gas Conference (EAGC) at Lake Como, Italy.

Morikawa said independence from oil prices was needed in the future if LNG was to be an alternative to oil. "Electricity is competitive against highly priced oil and gas," he said. "Electric power companies may cover the growth in demand by expanding nuclear power generation."

He called for a price that will support both sellers' and buyers' sustainable growth. "There is a need for a price with less exposure to oil price fluctuation and to distinguish the discussion between long-term and spot pricing."

As one of the world's largest customers of LNG, Japan has paid premium prices to ensure supply diversity because its geographic location makes it difficult to import pipeline gas. Several export projects such as Pluto LNG, Sakhalin-2, Tannguh LNG, and Greater Sunrise, have been proposed, but these are facing rising construction costs, limited capacity, a scarcity of feed gas, and host countries' revising commercial conditions. Operators have been hesitant to sanction LNG projects, and Japan faces a shortage of new LNG supplies coming on stream in Asia-Pacific in the medium term.

Morikawa stressed that Japan was happy to be a foundation LNG customer, and that it is critical to have a strong relationships with sellers based on trust.

However, increasing domestic gas demand in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand is another issue for potential LNG exporters, said Edward Chow, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "China and India have increasing [gas] demand, but they are more price sensitive." By 2030, he added, gas demand in Asia will grow, with demand in OECD Europe and the US trailing behind.

China, India challenges
The emergence of China and India as potential LNG importers is another driver in the development of the Asian LNG market. India has expressed interest in building regasification capacity, but discoveries of large gas fields, Dhirubhai and Deen Dayal, on its east coast will affect how much LNG imports are required.

China wants to increase gas usage for environmental reasons, Chow said, as the government is concerned about the health problems of its people. Several LNG terminals have been proposed in China, but Morikawa questioned whether they would come to fruition. "The difference between domestic market prices and LNG prices cannot be covered by subsidies," he said. "Will end users not be able to pay high prices?"

China also is pursuing pipeline import options from Russia and Central Asia, and it remains to be seen whether the country will return to a coal-based energy policy as geopolitics and competition for gas supplies intensify.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Shell cancels Arrow LNG project

01/30/2015

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has abandoned its plans for what would have been a fourth coal seam gas-LNG project at Gladstone in Queensland.

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...

Douglas Channel LNG moves toward 2018 startup

01/29/2015 Exmar NV, EDF Trading, and AIJVLP, a joint venture of AltaGas Ltd. and Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd., have taken full ownership of the 550,000 tonne/year...

Mitsui charters two more LNG ships for Cameron export project

01/29/2015 Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Tokyo, reports contracts for chartering two new ships to transport LNG to Japan from the Cameron LNG export project in Loui...

US House approves bill aimed at increasing LNG exports

01/28/2015 The US House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at increasing US LNG exports by requiring the Department of Energy to determine whether a proje...

Americans warm up to gas

01/26/2015 As you pick up the latest edition of OGJ after another volatile day in oil and gas, collapse into your favorite chair that's stationed next to your...

Gazprom’s Baltic LNG project to be built in Ust-Luga

01/23/2015 OAO Gazprom has determined that its 10-million-ton Baltic LNG plant will be built near the seaport of Ust-Luga, Leningrad Oblast, Russia. The proje...

Gorgon LNG project signs LNG supply deal with SK Group

01/21/2015 The Chevron Australia-led Gorgon LNG project offshore Western Australia has signed a binding sales and purchase agreement to supply 4.15 million to...

Magnolia LNG signs MOU for fourth train

01/19/2015 Magnolia LNG LLC (MLNG) signed a memorandum of understanding with Kellogg Brown & Root LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of KBR Inc. (KBR), and SK...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

When Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected