Nigeria may not profit from China’s infinite LNG thirst

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China’s demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is bound to shoot through the roof, indicating the world most populous nation’s move away from dirtier to cleaner forms of fossil fuels but Nigeria may not benefit from this demand curve. SIA Energy, a Chinese energy consulting firm estimates that demand for imported liquefied natural gas in China will more than double in size, from its current benchmark of less than 40 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 90 mtpa by 2030.

Dulles Wang, director for Wood Mackenzie director Dulles Wang told Canadian energy news source JWN that “between 2020 and 2040, over the next 20 years, we are expecting the gas market to expand by close to 40 percent. About two-thirds of the growth, in terms of gas demand is going to come from China.”

China is pushing away from fossil fuels and setting extremely lofty goals for decreased carbon
emissions in the very short term as well as the long term. In order to meet the country’s lofty anti-coal goals, China will need to significantly increase their imports of liquefied natural gas, as at present just about 57 percent of the country’s natural gas demand can be met with domestic supply.

“Except Chinese LNG buyers get in on Train 7, which awaits final investment decision later this year, there is no chance that Nigeria’s LNG cargoes will find their way to China. LNG projects are usually fully booked before they take off. Nigeria has very little spare capacity for the spot market”, said Victor Eromosele, former chief financial officer at Nigeria LNG Ltd.

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