GIIGNL: Net global LNG trade slides in 2012

Global LNG imports net of reloads last year reached 236.3 million tonnes, a 1.9% (4.5 million tonnes) decrease compared with 2011 trade movements, according to a report issued Mar. 25 from Paris-based Groupe International des Importateurs de Gaz Natural Liquefie (GIIGNL).

The group said maintenance and unscheduled interruptions on existing liquefaction plants, as well as lower-than-expected capacity additions, with only one new train—Pluto in Australia—coming into service in May, have limited supply availability.

GIIGNL said increased demand, mainly in Japan, China, India, and South America contributed to the market tightness.

Regional exports

On the supply side, six countries joined the ranks of exporters over the last 10 years. Eight countries out of a total of 18, however, made up 83% of global LNG exports at yearend 2012.

LNG supplies from the Pacific Basin declined 3%, or by 2.7 million tonnes, despite new volumes from Australia and the quick ramp-up of Pluto. Indonesia (-13.3%) and Malaysia (-4.8%) accounted for most of the production decline in the region.

In the Atlantic Basin, three suppliers—Nigeria, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago—increased their production, but lower export levels from Algeria, Egypt, and Equatorial Guinea depressed overall Atlantic Basin supply by 2.2%.

In the Middle East, production shutdowns in Yemen reduced total exports by 500,000 tonnes, despite 1 million tonnes additional supplies from Qatar, said GIIGNL’s report. Of Qatari volumes, 63% were exported to Asian countries, with Japan retaining the lion’s share.

For 2010-12, Qatar doubled its LNG exports to Japan (15.7 million tonnes in 2012 compared with 7.6 million tonnes in 2010). Qatari exports to South Korea jumped by 56% for the same 3 years, reaching 10.8 million tonnes, or 29% of South Korea’s LNG supplies.

On the demand side, seven importing countries out of 26 (Japan, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan, Spain, and the UK) attracted 81% of total LNG volumes. Japan and South Korea’s combined share was about 53%.


For the second year in a row, said the group’s report, all Asian countries recorded import growth.

Resulting from a weak gas demand, lower imports into Europe provided for the swing between global supply and demand. Asian countries imported 14.2 million tonnes of additional quantities, 9 million tonnes of which were received in Japanese terminals.

At yearend 2012, Asia accounted for 71% of global LNG demand compared with 64% in 2011, and Japan and South Korea together represented 75% of Asia’s LNG imports. In absence of nuclear restarts, Japan recorded an 11.4% growth. South Korean LNG imports increased by 3.4%, above the country’s gross domestic product growth rate of 2%.

The growing appetite for LNG in China and India resulted in 12.2% and 7.7% growth rates, respectively, over the previous year, and both countries represented a combined 11.8% global market share in 2012.

With start-up of the Nusantara regasification terminal, Indonesia started receiving LNG in 2012 (700,000 tonnes), becoming the 26th importing country and—after the US—the second LNG producing country also importing LNG.

GIIGNL found noteworthy Europe’s decline by some 27% because of cargo redirections, reloads, and sluggish gas demand, bringing in the 2012 net LNG imports at less than the 2009 level. With net imports of 14.5 million tonnes—at the same level as that for LNG imports into China—Spain is back as Europe’s leading LNG importer.

In the UK, imports dropped to 10.4 million tonnes (-44%), with 98% of the country’s LNG coming from Qatar and 72% of total imports delivered to the South Hook terminal.

As a consequence of the decline in Europe, the GIIGNL report found 2011’s contrasting trends between the two major basins to be even more pronounced in 2012. LNG deliveries to Asia increased by some 9% (with very single country showing a growth) whereas for the Atlantic Basin deliveries fell back 22% overall.

In the Americas, the LNG market of South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Chile) recorded a 40% growth compared with 2011, reaching twice the size of North America’s market. Following a year of low imports due to a large hydroelectricity production, LNG deliveries to Brazil more than tripled in 2012, reaching 2.7 million tonnes.

LNG deliveries to Chile remained stable, around 2.8 million tonnes. Argentina’s imports increased by almost 15% to 3.4 million tonnes in 2012, 2.3 million tonnes of which coming from Trinidad and Tobago.

Starting in 2013, said GIIGNL, Enarsa will purchase cargoes from GasNatural Fenosa under a 1.5 million tonne, 1-year contract. In Brazil, Petrobras also signed a 1-year contract with Iberdrola for 360,000 tonnes.

In Mexico, imports increased by 23.8% over 2011, mainly due to the start-up of the Manzanillo regasification terminal on the country’s Pacific Coast and the reception of volumes from Peru under a term contract.

Related Articles

House panel’s crude export ban hearing weighs urgency against caution

07/10/2015 A US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on legislation to repeal the ban on exporting US-produced crude oil quickly broke along party l...

Twelve workers killed in Nigeria pipeline explosion

07/10/2015 Eni SPA reported that an explosion occurred July 9 at the repair site for the Tebidaba-Clough Creek oil pipeline in Nigeria’s onshore Niger Delta.

Transco seeks FERC approval for New York Bay Expansion project

07/09/2015 Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (Transco), a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams Partners LP, has filed an application with the US Federal E...

House Oversight panel subpoenas Kerry for Keystone XL documents

07/09/2015 The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to US Sec. of State John F. Kerry for reports, recommendations, letters, a...

Ending crude export ban would help rural US areas, House panel told

07/09/2015 Rural US communities generally have benefited from the nation’s crude oil production renaissance, and potentially could be helped more if restricti...

AER orders Apache Canada to address integrity of pipeline system

07/08/2015 Alberta Energy Regulator has directed Apache Canada Ltd. to address the integrity of its pipeline management system because of “failure to follow p...

API releases pipeline safety recommended practice

07/08/2015 The American Petroleum Institute released a pipeline safety recommended practice that it developed with engagement from the US Pipeline and Hazardo...

BLM approves ROW for Elko gas pipeline expansion project

07/07/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management’s Tuscarora, Nev., field office signed a decision record approving a right-of-way for Paiute Pipeline Co.’s (PPC) ...

Obama urged by IPAA president to lift ban on US crude exports

07/07/2015 Commending the administration for its actions allowing some condensate to be exported as a petroleum product, Independent Petroleum Association of ...
White Papers

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

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
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

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