Latin America’s structural shift away from LNG

By Abhishek Kumar 29 September 2016
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Tupi field, Santos pre-salt basin. Increasing pre-salt gas output in Brazil is having an impact on LNG demand in the country. (Petrobras) Tupi field, Santos pre-salt basin. Increasing pre-salt gas output in Brazil is having an impact on LNG demand in the country. (Petrobras)

Latin America’s LNG market is undergoing structural changes that are expected to substantially reduce the region’s reliance on LNG imports in the coming years. While this raises questions about the commercial viability of existing and proposed import terminals in Latin America, it also has ramifications for those countries in the Americas that export LNG – Trinidad & Tobago, Peru and the United States.

Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico are the key LNG importers in the Americas, and several other countries are planning to begin imports. Jamaica received its first FSRU in August, although the vessel is currently moored outside the port of Montego Bay while work to install it continues. Colombia is also expected to start importing LNG using an FSRU by the end of this year. Barbados started receiving small volumes of LNG from the US this year, while countries in the Caribbean and Central America – such as Panama and El Salvador – plan to bring small-scale LNG import facilities online by the end of the decade.

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