– Overall, the gas markets in Asia, Europe and the United States have been fairly volatile. In addition to the upcoming winter’s degree of severity, the oil price and economic context are also sources of uncertainty. Average prices for 2018 have been trending upwards, with the notable exception of those in the United States.
– The average price of gas imports to Japan continued to rise in the third quarter, mainly influenced by the uptrend in the oil price. During Q3, LNG spot prices approached long-term prices, indicating a tightening of supply due to increasing demand in Asia. According to market forecasts, this state of affairs should persist throughout the winter, followed by a perceptible price downturn starting in the spring of 2019.
– Since Q2 2018, the NBP price has been on an upward path. This trend is expected to continue throughout the winter then start a downswing in Q2 2019. Overall, it has been lower than the prices seen in Asia, a factor that does not favor LNG deliveries to the European market.
– It is thought that the Henry Hub price, up slightly at the end of Q3, will continue this uptrend over the next two quarters. The latter is not considered to be structural and, for 2019, the forward markets are anticipating a lower price due to the expected increase in production.
The small-scale LNG market is rapidly growing on both the supply and demand side. Forecasts of growth to 2030 of up to 100 mt are widely shared, and there is a significant chance growth could far exceed this, with some forecasts for key sectors leading to a much higher overall demand.
SSLNG production and supply
Current SSLNG liquefaction capacity is estimated at 28mtpa. Supply infrastructure in terms of refuelling facilities for road and marine applications is becoming well established in China, and parts of Europe and North America, as well as some other markets around the world.
We expect small-scale liquefaction capacity to increase rapidly in coming years, particularly in markets where there is existing gas infrastructure and demand for LNG as a liquid fuel, or in areas where small-scale production provides an effective means of developing smaller gas resources. Small-scale liquefaction will face competition in LNG supplies from large-scale facilities, particularly regasification terminals. In addition, wider issues affecting the gas and LNG retail market in terms of the growth of LNG or alternative energy supplies from renewables or electric vehicles, will have a corresponding impact on small-scale liquefaction.
Algeria is facing a new crossroad as its political and socio-economic balance has become increasingly weakened by the consequences of the oil price collapse since 2014. Algeria is faced with stark choices, as illustrated by the interplay between its energy sector and its political & economic challenges and opportunities. Budgetary constraints are putting pressure on its key hydrocarbon industry, which was already suffering from years of underinvestment due to tough fiscal terms, challenging business climate and security risks.
The North African nation needs to intensify efforts to revive its oil and gas upstream sector with new projects, avert the long-term production decline at mature fields, whilst meeting growing domestic demand and honoring gas export commitments. The widening fiscal deficit and the rapid erosion of financial buffers since the oil price fell is further increasing the need for foreign capital to boost oil and gas reserves, amid growing competition with other producing nations to attract capital and technical know-how from international oil companies. But the lack of upstream investment is just one of the challenges facing Algiers in its energy sector and beyond.