The global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market has continued to defy expectations of many market observers, with demand growing by 29 million metric tons to 293 million metric tons in 2017, according to Shell’s 2018 LNG Outlook. Based on current demand projections, Shell sees potential for a supply shortage developing in mid-2020s, unless new LNG production project commitments are made soon.
LNG buyers continued to sign shorter and smaller contracts. In 2017, the number of LNG spot cargoes sold reached 1,100 for the first time, equivalent to three cargoes delivered every day. This growth mostly came from new supply from Australia and the USA. The mismatch in requirements between buyers and suppliers is growing.