The Changing World Gas Industry

Posted on 26 November 2015

DSC_4536Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Gas Conference inaugural event in South Korea, Younghoon David Kim, Co-Chair of the World Energy Council, said that whilst the South Korean gas industry has a relatively short history of 30 years, it now stands near the level of developed countries.

He went on to talk about how the issues facing South Korea in many ways mirror what the gas industry as a whole is facing across the globe and described some possible solutions. He said: “In Asia most natural gas is imported as LNG, and the price is indexed to crude oil on a long-term, contractual basis. The Asia-Pacific market accounts for three-quarters of global LNG trade and one-third of global natural gas trade.

“The extended slump in oil prices has caused LNG prices to dive and experts forecast that prices will remain low for many reasons: the slowdown of Asian economies -the largest consumers of LNG, declining European demand and the planned supply of US LNG to Europe.

“Excess investment has caused over-supply. This combined with declining demand and falling prices has led to global delays on final investment decisions regarding gas-related projects as their long-term viability is now being questioned in what has become a buyers’ market. Final investment decisions are delayed, not only in the case of E&P projects, but also in liquefaction capacity build-up.

“Specifically, for South Korea, in comparison to 2014 we have seen an approximate 8% decrease in gas consumption as a result of South Korea’s economic downturn. Also, the lack of new customers due to an almost complete saturation of the domestic gas market is another contributory factor.”

Younghoon David Kim also went on to showcase our newly launched Global Gas Centre, which the World Energy Council hosts, and explained how the group is focused on understanding the interplay between the gas sector and wider energy sectors. He said: “The gas industry is a driving force in the global economy and collaboration is needed on new energy infrastructure projects and in the development of new technologies where gas can play an important role.”