Global LNG volumes are set to expand substantially, leading to a more competitive, globally integrated gas market by 2040, BP said in its latest outlook on Thursday.
In the company's Evolving transition (ET) scenario, LNG trade is forecast to more than double, reaching almost 900 billion cubic meters in 2040 up from around 400 billion cubic meters in 2017.
"The increase in LNG exports is led by North America, followed by the Middle East, Africa and Russia," BP said and added that as the LNG market matures, the U.S. and Qatar emerge as the main centers of LNG exports, accounting for around 40 percent of all LNG exports by 2040.
Asia will remain the dominant market for LNG imports, although the pattern of imports within Asia will shift, with China, India and "Other Asia" overtaking the more established markets of Japan and South Korea, while accounting for around half of all LNG imports by 2040, the outlook said.
"Europe remains a key market, both as a 'balancing market' for LNG supplies and a key hub of gas-on-gas competition between LNG and pipeline gas.
"The precise profile of LNG volume growth will depend on the timing and availability of the new investments needed to finance the considerable expansion. The cyclical nature of LNG investments means there is a risk that the development of the LNG market will continue to be associated with periods of volatility," it explained.
By Murat Temizer