The 19th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas is presented by the International Gas Union (IGU), GTI and the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) – the only LNG event owned by the industry, run for the industry.
From 1-5 April, over 15,000 attendees from more than 80 countries around the world attended LNG2019 in Shanghai, the first time the event has been held in China. The event brought together speakers from the world’s biggest LNG players, the heads of China’s “Big Three” energy giants, leading contractors and shipping companies together with senior government representatives, policy makers and LNG professionals from across the industry to discuss the growing importance of LNG on the global stage and the trends impacting its growth.
A clear trend is the global energy transition, as the world seeks to shift to cleaner burning fuels and renewable energy to limit climate change – and natural gas will play a key role in achieving this goal. In remarks on the opening day, YANG Hua, Chairman of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China, noted that natural gas will increasingly account for a larger proportion of primary energy consumption, with LNG making up a fast-growing component of that supply because of its convenient transportation, flexibility, safety and efficiency.
“In the future, global LNG consumption will rise rapidly and is expected to grow by an annual average of four per cent during 2015-2035, doubling the rise of natural gas consumption in the same period,” YANG Hua told delegates.
Mike K. Wirth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corporation, said that there can be little doubt that natural gas and increasingly LNG will play a vital role in supplying global energy demand for decades to come.
The industry is already working hard to deliver this future. WANG Yilin, Chairman of CNPC, highlighted the increased investment in new LNG capacity, with investment deadlocks broken and new projects taking FID this year both in existing LNG powerhouses, such as Qatar and Australia, but also emerging suppliers such as the United States, Russia, and Africa.
The splurge of FID investment was good news for the 200 exhibitors in Shanghai, who were there to showcase the technologies and innovations that will optimise performance, reduce costs and lower emissions in the years to come, further cementing LNG’s role as the fuel of the future.
“Especially in the wave of digitalization leading integration between new technology and the LNG industry, the cost of LNG production, transportation and utilization will further decrease while efficiency and price competitiveness will be strengthened to promote rapid rise of global LNG trade,” said YANG Hua.
It was fitting that LNG2019 was held in China, the world’s fastest growing LNG market. The country has embraced natural gas, and LNG, as a means to combat pollution and climate change, and the sheer scale of this transition has changed global trade patterns.
“China’s efforts to fight against air pollution are a catalyst for the development of natural gas industry in the country”, said Woodside CEO Peter Coleman. “Many of the reforms in China around gas transportation, around import terminals along the coastal line and so forth, have been critical enablers in opening up the Chinese market,” said Coleman.
The LNG2019 conference highlighted not just the huge opportunities of the world’s growing LNG trade, but also the challenges ahead, including high capital costs of liquefaction plants, restrictive contract terms and downstream infrastructure constraints.
Mike K. Wirth of Chevron suggested innovative partnerships will be key if LNG is to reach its full potential. “Such partnerships will improve stability in the LNG market, enhance flexibility, spur investment, reduce costs and develop new technology that ultimately bring to market the energy that powers economic and social progress,” said the Chevron Chairman and CEO.
The seeds of those partnerships may have been sown at LNG2019, where delegates and exhibitors from across the globe met and networked at the five-day event. Already industry movers and shakers are looking ahead to the next event, to be held in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2022.
“What a great event in the beautiful city of Shanghai. The perfect place and timing as everybody foresees a bright future for the LNG industry, including great opportunities to meet today and tomorrow’s environmental challenges”, said delegate Aziz Bamik, General Manager at GTT North America.