Global LNG imports increased by 8.3 percent to 313.8 million tonnes in 2018 year on year, according to the latest report of the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL) on Wednesday.
According to statistics compiled from the report by the Anadolu Agency, global LNG imports increased by 23.9 million tonnes in 2018, the third largest annual increase after 2010 and 2017.
One new country - Cameroon - began LNG exports in 2018, raising the number of exporting countries to 20. In addition, two new countries, Bangladesh and Panama, imported LNG for the first time bringing the total number of importing countries to 42.
The report said that 99.3 million tonnes of LNG were imported on a spot or short-term basis.
Out of global LNG demand, 76 percent came from Asia, led by Japan, China and South Korea. Asian countries imported a total of 238.6 million tonnes of LNG.
Japan imported 82.5 million tonnes, and China received 54 million tonnes.
"As in 2017, policy choices in the Asia-Pacific region largely drove the growth in LNG imports, fostered by measures to improve air quality in China," the report said.
Qatar was the main exporter of LNG in 2018 with 76.8 million tonnes, while Australia, Malaysia and the U.S. followed Qatar.
-Turkey ranks 2nd in Europe
In 2018, Europe's LNG imports increased by 6.4 percent to 48.9 million tonnes.
Turkey was the second biggest LNG importer in Europe in 2018, behind Spain. The country imported 8.3 million tonnes of LNG and Spain imported 10.8 million tonnes.
France, Italy and the U.K. followed Turkey in the list.
Europe's LNG imports increased by 6.4 percent to 48.9 million tonnes in 2018.
Turkey imported 3.44 million tonnes of LNG from Algeria and 1.53 million tonnes from Nigeria. Angola, Norway, Egypt and the U.S. were also on the list of countries that Turkey imported LNG from.
Turkey's natural gas consumption reached around 48.9 billion cubic meters in 2018, according to Anadolu Agency's calculations from figures provided by Turkey's Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA).
Turkey imported 50.34 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2018, a decrease of 8.88 percent from 2017 when imports totaled 55.25 billion cubic meters.
The calculations showed that Turkey imported around 11.32 billion cubic meters of gas as LNG and the remainder in the form of pipeline gas in 2018, indicating that the share of LNG in Turkey's gas imports was around 22.5 percent last year, compared to 19 percent in 2017.
By Murat Temizer