Liquefied natural gas has assumed an increasingly significant role in the energy security of several nations around the world, and the value of internationally traded LNG that can be efficiently stored and transported by ships is expected to grow by an average of 17% per year from $73 billion in 2009 to over $180 billion in 2015, supported by strong volume growth and higher prices, according to Liquefied Natural Gas Market Worldwide by industrial market research firm SBI Energy.
Natural gas accounts for 20% of the world’s marketed energy, making it a critical fuel in the generation of electric power and heat. As most nations make a much-anticipated recovery over the next 12-18 months, energy consumption will continue to rise rapidly, driven significantly by demand from economically developing nations. SBI Energy predicts global energy consumption will increase by 19% from 462 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2005 to over 551 quadrillion Btu in 2015.
“As an efficient and economical means of transporting natural gas, the need for the liquefied variety is driven by natural gas demand in various parts of the world that do not have adequate domestic or pipeline supplies of this fuel,” says Shannon Shuflat, SBI Energy analyst and co-author of the report. Population growth and economic growth are key factors driving increased demand for energy over the next five years.