Qatar maintained its dominance in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, having exported 107.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) of LNG in 2019, according to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy 2020 report.
The Gulf country's main LNG market was the Asia-Pacific region with exports of 72 bcm. The main recipient of Qatari LNG was South Korea with 15.3 bcm while India imported 13.2 bcm. The country's LNG exports to Europe amounted to 32.2 bcm.
According to BP's report, last year's second-biggest LNG exporter was Australia with 104.7 bcm. The US followed with 47.5 bcm and Russia ranked third with 39.4 bcm.
Australian LNG's biggest recipient was the Asian region, with Japan having imported 41 bcm, followed by China with 39.8 bcm and South Korea with 10.6 bcm. The only recipient of Australian LNG out of the Asian region was the United Arab Emirates with 0.1 billion cubic meters.
Australia is also planning to expand its facilities, which should be ready by 2022.
The US has also laid plans to expand its facilities, but taking into account the construction of one LNG terminal takes around four years, these new facilities will only be ready over the coming years to allow the country to expand its LNG export capacity.
- Japan largest importer
The global LNG market's main trading region was the Asia-Pacific in 2019 with Japan leading with 105.5 bcm of LNG imports.
Japan was followed by China, South Korea and India, which imported 84.8 bcm, 55.6 bcm and 32.9 bcm of LNG, respectively.
In Europe, the biggest LNG importers were Spain with 22.9 bcm while Turkey purchased 12.9 bcm.
Many experts agreed that increased competition and the abundance of supplies on the global market in 2020 resulted in a fall in gas prices.
LNG has become even more popular with consumer countries as natural gas in the spot LNG market is cheaper than prices set in long-term contracts. Consequently, the share of LNG in the global natural gas market is expected to increase by the end of this year.
By Murat Temizer