Supplies of LNG are on course to increase by 50 per cent between 2014 and 2021. That implies the opening of a new LNG “train” – the facilities that condense gas into liquid form to allow it to be transported long distances by ship – every two to three months. Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP, calls that a “quite astonishing” rate of growth. The investments are part of a wider dash for gas among the biggest energy companies, as the industry bets that the clean characteristics of gas compared with oil and coal will allow it to keep growing as other fossil fuels decline. Gas emits half as much carbon dioxide as coal when burnt to generate electricity, and at least 75 per cent less nitrogen oxide and other health-harming particles. This makes gas a potential ally in the fights against climate change and air pollution, while providing a hedge for industry against the threat of electric vehicles eroding demand for oil. Companies that once treated gas as the poor relation to “black gold” are now gambling that the colourless commodity can help secure their future in a decarbonising world. Of the 16 new BP projects due on stream between this year and 2021, 12 involve gas rather than oil. Similar shifts are under way across the industry. Gas outweighs oil by a factor of two-to-one among pre-development resources awaiting investment decisions, according to Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultancy.
FT 7th Sept 2017 read more »