The context for global gas markets is changing rapidly, raising new challenges for industry and policy makers alike. The slowdown in Asian gas demand that started in 2014 intensified in 2015, prompting a rare decline in the region’s LNG imports and pushing prices to new lows. As the world prepares to welcome a large wave of new LNG projects, market players are left with one burning question: where will all that gas go? Heavily oversupplied markets in the short term have triggered sharp investment cuts across the industry; if under-investment persists it could sow the seeds of a classic bust-boom commodity cycle. Unlike previous downturns, however, this time there is greater uncertainty about future demand prospects.
Caught between cheap coal and continued policy support for renewables, global gas demand has so far failed to react to the steep fall in prices. Industry participants are now wondering whether this is temporary or whether it marks the beginning of structurally lower growth for gas demand. How countries reassess environmental policies in the aftermath of the Paris Agreement will be key to determining what comes next for gas.
The Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2016 assesses these trends and provides a detailed analysis of global demand supply and trade development through 2021. It also explores the links between today’s oversupply and emerging shifts in trade patterns, pricing mechanisms and market structures that have the potential to substantially reshape the global gas industry over the next few years.