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Shell Warns Of LNG Shortage

When it comes to liquified natural gas stores, global giants Royal Dutch Shell are concerned that many a radar tank gauge will be reading empty soon enough, as they report a shortfall in levels to meet demand. 

For the LNG industry, it’s a double-edge sword. While the market in LNG was 30 per cent higher than expected in 2017, reaching 293 million tonnes, a lack of investment in new projects is set to leave the world with a shortage by 2020 according to CNBC.

This figure put into context looks like 545 million homes powered in a year, and compares to 100 million tonnes of exported LNG at the turn of the century.

Its popularity is spurred on by being a cleaner burning alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and LNG is becoming a growing portion of the energy mix we’re using to power countries. As we’re currently at a stage of oversupply, prices on LNG are also relatively low compared to other fossil fuels.

Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s director of integrated gas and new energies, spoke of the increase in demand for this flexible, reliable energy source: “"In Asia alone, demand rose by 17 million tonnes. That’s nearly as much as Indonesia, the world’s fifth-largest LNG exporter, produced in 2017."

However, Shell’s report on the state of the LNG market comes with a warning that more investment needs to be put into new projects. While many projects will come online in the next few years, including in the United States, where five new terminals are set to go live by the end of 2019, it’s not enough to meet projected growth.