Small is beautiful in the LNG business
Small is beautiful as the era of the LNG mega-projects is over and the players struggle to justify big LNG projects over the next few years.
In 2000s “large was beautiful” in the LNG industry and IOCs pursued large scale LNG plants because their target markets were large markets i.e. Japan, Korea, US and UK,
, GM of Marketing at National Iranian Gas Export Co. (NIGEC) said at the CWC
Iran LNG & Gas Summit
held yesterday in Frankfurt.
“But now, US LNG imports disappeared and LNG sellers are competing for less creditworthy with insufficient infrastructures but growing markets in ME, S. Asia, Africa and Americas,” Sharif told the summit’s audiences.
“Small is beautiful” as the era of the LNG mega-projects is over and the players struggle to justify big LNG projects over the next few years.
It is interesting that LNG supply and demand patterns are following each other. Sharif reminded that emerging LNG markets specifications are scarcity of infrastructures; low demand with gradual growth; high price sensitivity and Low creditworthy.
In an increasingly competitive environment, LNG players must adapt their business models from “finding the new markets” to “developing the new markets”. LNG sellers have to develop buyers’ markets and generate new opportunities as preconditions for their LNG production developments so firstly, develop market then build new LNG export project should it is cost competitive.
He has also informed the summit that Iran has hiked output from its flagship South Pars giant gas field as the output raised to 18.2 BCF/D. Work is ongoing at a number of phases at the field, including 20&21, and 17&18 and the output will hit 19.4 BCF/D by the end of current Iranian year (20 March), according to POGC. Once all 24 phases are complete, South Pars capacity is planned to reach 28 BCF/D.
Meanwhile, Sharif has reminded that Iranian gas exports to Europe by pipeline remain a distant and currently uneconomic prospect, particularly while the country has access to the growing regional gas markets. “The country could support mid-scale LNG projects aimed to export the clean energy to the regional markets.”
Graphs: Mr. Sharif’s presentation at the summit