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Global LNG market will almost double by 2030: Mitsubishi

GLOBAL liquefied natural gas (LNG) market will almost double by 2030 from 2017, according to projections from Japan's leading trading house, Mitsubishi Corp.

Mitsubishi Corp's general manager of energy business division, Atsushi Miyazaki, said at Offshore Technology Asia 2018 on Wednesday that the trading house sees the world's LNG market growing 5 per cent year-on-year from 2017.

Global LNG volume traded for 2017 is projected to reach 290 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and is set to expand to 530 mtpa by 2030, Mr Miyazaki said.

He attributed this increasing trend to surges in demand seen in China and India during the winter season of 2017.

LNG global supply is expected to continue to tighten until 2019, when mega projects in the US and Australia are due to start production.

But Mr Miyazaki warned against a huge LNG shortfall looming on the horizon from 2022 with no further investments committed during the recent downturn to bring more LNG export projects onstream.

While China and India have climbed the ranks among LNG importing economies, Mr Miyazaki sees Japan, South Korea and Taiwan continue to still command clout as the world's top LNG buyers.

Globally, investments in new LNG projects have been pulled back after spot prices in Asia fell by more than half in 2015.

But LNG spot prices have clawed back losses since late 2016, with contracts seen closing at over US$10 per million British thermal unit at the start of 2018.