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    Eni global report finds LNG trade accelerating


While total natural gas trade declined last year, LNG increased its share.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Eni global report finds LNG trade accelerating

Italian energy company Eni in a world energy review published October 6 reported that LNG increased its share of total world natural gas trade despite pressure from the pandemic.

Eni found that natural gas demand declined last year after 10 consecutive years of growth, with North America leading the decline with a dip of 4.1% relative to 2019 levels. The dip is to be expected given the demand destruction brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But even with the decline, Eni found that LNG increased its share in total gas trade. In 2020, 484bn m3 of LNG was traded, representing about 40% of the market. That marks a 2% increase from 2019 levels.

As with the scramble to shore up new supplies in the tight market in 2021, Eni found that Asian economies accounted for more than 70% of the world total of imported LNG.

By exporters, it was the US that led the way. From 2019, US exports of LNG grew by more than 59% last year.

Global gas production, however, followed demand trends last year, with a global contraction of 2.8% relative to 2019 levels. Russia led the year-on-year decline with 6%, followed by a 2.5% decline in the US.

But the US remained the world leader in natural gas production last year. Eni estimated US natural gas production reached 907bn m3 in 2020, while Russia, the second-largest gas producer, produced some 690bn m3.

Eni data show US gas production passed Russian output first in 2015.