LNG markets have been expected to enter a period of overcapacity for some time, but stronger than expected demand growth coupled with delays in project completions have delayed its arrival.
A fleet of about 20 vessels out of the 500 LNG carriers on the water or ordered are servicing the northernmost liquefaction and export plants, the Hammerfest facility of Norway’s Equinor and the Yamal plant of Russian natural gas company Novatek.
The technology that has enabled this development is the retro fitting by major vessel operators of existing LNG carriers with topsides using established liquefaction processes such as from US companies Air Products or Black and Veatch.
The French Val de Saone pipeline allowing the supply of additional natural gas supplies from the North to the South of France will be fully operational next month and provide the final part in the creation of a single French gas trading market.
Opportunities to export liquefied natural gas has become a desirable option for American energy companies and producers due to the price differential between the US and the rest of the world, particularly in Europe and Asia.