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LNG supply & demand-III: It is a complex matrix
Feb 20: The question thus posed is ‘to what extent can demand for gas in the form of LNG absorb this ramp-up in supply’?
8In the 2016/2017 winter period we have seen an unexpected ‘tight’ market which increased LNG supply has been unable to ameliorate.
8Specifically, China has seen colder than normal winter temperatures and has increased its imports of LNG accordingly. South Korea has increased LNG imports to compensate for nuclear reactors taken temporarily offline. In Europe colder weather and high coal prices have boosted gas demand in the space heating and power sectors, exacerbated by the shutdown of significant French nuclear capacity.
8As we move into 2017, the burning question is whether (in particular) China’s recent increased LNG demand this winter is primarily a weather-related phenomenon or the start of a trend towards higher
8LNG demand based on displacing coal in power, industrial and space heating sectors. The absence of transparent prompt Chinese gas demand data prolongs the uncertainty on this issue.
8Asian demand for LNG imports has been characteristically seasonal, exacerbated by the lack of underground storage capacity and the tendency to purchase winter LNG cargoes ‘in addition’ to LNG storage inventory at regas terminals.
8Two scenarios are built up, one of "low" Asian demand and another of "high" demand. The two sets of projections are given here
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