The country exported 81 million tonnes (MT) last year, enabling it to remain market leader with a share of 27.6 percent in the global LNG trade, said the ‘2018 World LNG Report’ released by International Gas Union.
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“With exports of 81MT, Qatar continued to be the largest LNG exporter, a position it has held for over a decade,” said the report.
Qatar was much ahead of its competitors with a wide margin. Australia was the second-largest exporter with export of 56.2MT and market share of 19.2 percent while Malaysia exported 26.4MT with a share of nine percent. Nigeria was on the fourth place followed by Indonesia and the United States.
“Qatar continued to be the world’s leading exporter of LNG, with 2017 liquefaction reaching 81 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), followed by Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the United States Australia and the United States led in growth of exports by increases over 2016 of 11.9MTPA and 10.2MTPA, respectively,” noted David Carroll, President of the International Gas Union in the report.
In 2017, the number of LNG-exporting countries remained at 18 as all additional liquefaction capacity was added in countries that already contained export capabilities.
Qatar’s position in the global LNG market is expected to get stronger in the coming years. Qatar Petroleum, in 2017, had announced plans to increase Qatar’s LNG output by 30 percent — from 77 to 100MTPA.
Natural gas accounts for just under a quarter of global energy demand, of which 9.8 percent was supplied as LNG, in 2016.
Last year was a good time for LNG exporters as, after steady growth in recent years, the global LNG trade increased sharply in 2017, rising by 35.2 MT to reach a new annual record of 293.1 MT.
This marked the fourth consecutive year of incremental growth, and the second-largest annual increase ever, behind only 2010.
The increase was driven by higher production at liquefaction plants in Australia, as well as full-year production and new trains at Sabine Pass LNG in the United States. China was a major driver of LNG import growth during 2017, accounting for over one-third of net growth, rising by 12.7 MT.
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