Qatar’s LNG has a very dominant role in Mediterranean market: IEA official
Natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean are unlikely to be a game-changer given rising supplies in the global gas market, according to the Turkish head of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Discoveries of new gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean have put some countries in the spotlight, but feasibility, political challenges, and the presence of other major gas producers impose hurdles on projects that may fail to have a major impact on the gas market, Fatih Birol said yesterday.
“Qatar’s liquefied natural gas has a very dominant role in the Mediterranean market,” he told Anadolu Agency. With Qatar, American gas, and incoming supply from a couple of countries in the Middle East region, it looks very difficult economically to constitute a major project in the eastern Mediterranean, plus there are some political issues as well.”
Currently, Qatar is leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports with 12 consecutive years under its belt, while the US is looking to raise its LNG exports with its abundant shale gas supplies.
“With those and political difficulties, it’s not right to expect a major game-changing role from eastern Mediterranean gas. We’re in the midst of gas abundance,” he added.
Birol said there are additional natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean as well, but added that there is an oversupply of gas in the global market. “A new major wave of production is coming in the LNG sector,” he said.
Global natural gas production rose steadily from 2.94 tcm in 2007 to 3.68 tcm in 2017, a 25.2 percent leap, while LNG imports climbed from 356.7 bcm in 2016 to 393.4 bcm in 2017, a 10.3 percent annual jump, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 report.
IEA’s Birol pointed to rising LNG production in the US, Qatar, and Australia, saying those three countries will become world leaders in LNG exports in 2025.
He also praised the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is set to deliver 6 bcm of gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Turkey, and an additional 10 bcm to Europe every year. Birol emphasized that Turkey should focus on gas storage, which currently constitutes 10 percent of its gas consumption. The world ratio of gas storage capacity to domestic gas consumption is around 25 percent, according to Birol.