Shell exec sees LNG supply tightness until 2014-2015
(Reuters; June 8) - Global LNG markets will tighten and prices likely increase over the next two to three years as supplies rise more slowly than appetite from a growing number of importers, industry leaders said. "We do think the market will be tight in the medium term. It will be 2015 at the earliest before you see material new supply coming into the market and even those are exposed to the risk of delay," said De La Rey Venter, Shell's head of global LNG, at a global gas conference in Malaysia.
Any delays would mean LNG markets stay tighter for longer, Venter said, making it harder for buyers to find the spot cargoes they need. Australia will supply the next round of gas to the LNG market from 2014 onward, but several of those projects are the first of their kind - including three plants to export coal-bed methane. The challenges that come with breaking new ground will be expensive, said Didier Houssin, director of energy markets and security at the Paris-based International Energy Agency.
LNG buyers are eyeing possible new supplies from North America, awash with gas due to the rapid increase in shale output. But Peter Oosterman, president of the energy and chemicals group at international engineering and project management firm Fluor, said he is not very bullish on the possibility of U.S. LNG exports. "The U.S. still needs to decide if they want to export and if so how much and when. If you're ready to export and you decide today, it's still four years before you have a facility up and running," he said.