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Abstract

In the over 150 years of hydrocarbon history, the year 2017 will be one of the many similar. However, it will be a breakthrough year for liquefied natural gas. In Asia, China grew to become the leader of import growth, becoming the second world importer, overtaking even South Korea and chasing Japan. The Panama Canal for LNG trade and the “Northern Passage” was opened, so that Russian LNG supplies appeared in Europe. The year 2017 was marked by a dramatic shortening of the length of long-term concluded contracts, their shorter tenure and reduction of volumes – that is, it was another period of market commoditization of this energy resource. The article describes the current state of LNG production and trade till 2018. It focuses on natural gas production in the United States, Qatar, Australia, Russia as countries that can produce and supply LNG to the European Union. The issue of prices and the contracts terms in 2017 was analyzed in detail. The authors stress that the market is currently characterized by an oversupply and will last at least until mid–2020. Novatek, Total – Yamal-LNG project leaders have put the condensing facility at 5.5 million tons into operation. The Christophe de Margerie oil tanker was the first commercial unit to cross the route to Norway and then further to the UK without icebreakers and set a new record on the North Sea Road. In 2017, the Russian company increased its share in the European gas market from 33.1 to 34.7%. In 2017, Russia and Norway exported record volumes of „tubular” – classic natural gas to Europe (and Turkey), 194 and 122 billion m3 respectively, which is 15 and 9 billion m3 more natural gas than in 2016. The thesis was put forward that Russia would not easily give up its sphere of influence and would do everything and use various mechanisms, not only on the market, that it would simply be more expensive and economically unprofitable than natural gas. It was also emphasized that the pressure of the technically possible and economically viable redirection to European terminals of methane carriers landed in the American LNG, results in Gazprom not having a choice but to adjust its prices. The Americans, but also any other supplier (Australia?) can simply do the same and this awareness alone is enough for Russian gas to be present in Europe at a good price.
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