Top 10 largest exporters of liquid natural gas
With rising global demand for cleaner alternative energy sources, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has found itself highly sought after across the planet. Here is a look at 10 of the biggest exporters of LNG.
10 | Papua New Guinea (7.4mn tonnes)
The production of LNG in Papua New Guinea is carried out by PNG LNG, which itself is operated by ExxonMobil PNG limited. The $19bn project is an integrated development that is responsible for commercialising the LNG resources of Papua New Guinea and has both onshore and offshore pipelines and liquefaction facilities. As of March 2018, LNG production is set to stop for up to six weeks due to an earthquake in the country’s remote highlands region. PNG LNG also prides itself on investing back in to the local community and aiding in further development of one of the least developed countries in the world.
9 | Oman (8.1mn tonnes)
Oman, located on the Arabian Peninsula, has one major government-run LNG production company: Oman Liquefied Natural Gas LLC (Oman LNG), a government-owned joint venture company, established by the Sultanate of Oman in 1994. In 2013, it was integrated with Qalhat LNG in order to streamline production and lower costs. It owns three liquefaction trains at its site in Qalhat, with a capacity of 10.4mn tonnes per annum. Unlike some of its oil dependant neighbours, Oman has a more diversified economy with significant portions involving tourism, the trade of dates, fish and agricultural produce.
8 | Trinidad & Tobago (10.6mn tonnes)
Trinidad & Tobago, a twin island state located in the Caribbean, exports over 10mn tonness of LNG annually. The production of LNG in Trinidad & Tobago is undertaken by Atlantic, which was founded in 1995. Its operations began with a single LNG train, which was completed in 1999, and it now operates with four LNG trains with an output of 15mn tonnes per annum. The country is the biggest exporter of LNG to the large American market, as well as sending product across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. However, in recent years there have been worries about the sustainability of the LNG market in Trinidad, with production falling year on year due to gas shortfalls within the country.
7 | Russia (10.8mn tonnes)
Russia exports roughly 10.8mn tonnes of LNG per annum, which gives the country 4.2% of the global market share in the sale of the energy source. Russia’s ambition in the LNG market has continued to grow, with large swathes of the Arctic becoming suitable for exploration and extraction as new technology has become available. The country’s ambition is also displayed in the recent $27bn LNG Arctic gas extraction co-venture with China, deepening the energy co-operation between the two states in the face of sanctions from the West. These operations take place on the Yamal peninsula and are run by Yamal LNG. They encompass gas production, liquefaction and shipping with extensive arctic transport infrastructure built-in, as well as an airport and seaport, in order to export the estimated 926bn cubic meters of LNG present.
6 | Algeria (11.5mn tonnes)
The largest country in Africa, Algeria is a major exporter of LNG to Europe, providing 55% of Spain’s LNG requirements in 2016 as well as 16% of Italy’s and 15% of Portugal’s. The country exports around 11.5mn tonnes of LNG a year, with a 4.5% market share. The strong oil and gas export revenues that Algeria maintains are a significant factor in the economic upturn the country has experienced in recent years. The LNG sector is expected to increase production capacity in the near future, thanks to continued investment and development in the country’s LNG infrastructure.
5 | Indonesia (16.6mn tonnes)
Indonesia, located in south-east Asia, exports roughly 16.6mn tonnes of LNG annually, which translates as 6.4% of the global market. The significant discovery of the Jangrik reserve in deep waters off of the coast of Indonesia in 2009 has given the LNG sector in the country a major boost. The early exploratory work and extraction has been carried out by multinational oil and gas giant Eni, and the reserve forms part of the Muara Bakau reserve, of which Eni has a 55% stake. Production at the site has commenced ahead of schedule, with product destined for both export and the Indonesian domestic market.
4 | Nigeria (18.6mn tonnes)
Nigeria LNG limited is responsible for the production of LNG in the west African country, and with six trains operational, the company’s plant on Bonny Island is capable of producing 22mn tonnes of LNG per annum. Plans are currently in place to increase to a seventh train which will increase production capacity to 30mn tonnes per annum. The Nigerian government is a major stakeholder, with a 49% share, with 25.6% owned by Shell, Eni controlling 10.4% and Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France owning 15%. With a 7.2% market share and 18.6mn tonnes of LNG exported annually, Nigeria exports and produces more LNG than any other African country.
3 | Malaysia (25mn tonnes)
Malaysia’s first ever LNG project was undertaken in Bintulu in 1978, with the collaboration between Petronas, Shell BV and Mitsubishi resulting in the formation of Malaysia LNG. This company remains at the forefront of LNG activity in the country, being involved in every aspect of the project that is still underway in Bintulu, including infrastructure, training, transportation and extraction. The plant was completed in 1982 with the first cargo being shipped in 1983, and currently has six LNG storage tanks that are capable of holding up to 445,000 cubic metres of LNG, with a seventh currently under construction. The expansion of operations has also led the creation of a ninth LNG train to keep up with ever increasing demand.
2 | Australia (44.3mn tonnes)
Australia currently exports 44.3mn tonnes of LNG per year, but this may be set to dramatically increase as demand from Asia increases, potentially leading to it becoming the largest producer of LNG in the world. The country currently has seven operating LNG developments, with three more under construction, as well as other projects being considered. A large quantity of the country’s LNG is extracted north of the country’s western coast in the Prelude, Wheatstone and Ichthys gas fields. There is an estimated $80bn worth of LNG projects under construction across Australia. Recent discoveries of onshore LNG in Queensland have, in part, seen earnings forecasts for 2018/2019 of Australia's total resource and energy export increase to $211bn.
1 | Qatar (77.2mn tonnes)
Qatar exports over 77mn tonnes for LNG annually, more than Malaysia and Australia combined, with 29.9% of the market share globally. As of December 2016, the LNG production in Qatar has been provided by one entity, Qatargas. This followed the announcement that that Qatargas would be fully integrated with Rasgas which, according to Qatar Petroleum in January 2018, will save the company $550mn annually in operational costs. Production under the new Qatargas began in early 2018, with integration fully complete. Qatargas currently operates 14 LNG trains, helping make the country the largest LNG producer in the world.