The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) claim back in 2011 that the world was entering ‘a golden age of gas’ seems justified, at least from a supply perspective. A rapid uptick in liquefaction capacity, mostly led by the United States and Australia, means the global gas market is now over-supplied, and recent geopolitical posturing in the Middle East suggests there is plenty more to come. Suppliers are rushing to bring projects online, but they face a race to open up pockets of demand. Meanwhile, much has been written on the potential for FSRUs to open up new markets and wean energy-hungry developing economies onto gas.
But while many had thought this demand would be spearheaded by the power sector, it is industry that is emerging as the main driver for growth. The IEA’s latest report on the future of the global gas market, Gas 2017, projects that industrial gas demand will grow by 3.0% per year over the next five years, compared with an overall growth in demand of just 1.6%. Meanwhile, demand growth from the power sector will hover below 1% per year, according to the Paris-based organisation.
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