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Global gas supply and demand dynamics will be closely monitored by LNG suppliers, including Qatar.
In its World Energy Outlook 2014, the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that it expects Japanese gas demand by 2040 to return to levels seen before the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Japan is historically the world’s largest market for LNG, so its nuclear policy and eventual nuclear restart are key factors in the world LNG trade – though even if import volumes are reduced to pre-Fukushima levels, Japan would still be the largest LNG buyer for some time yet. The IEA says that both China and the Middle East are set to greatly expand gas consumption in the years ahead, with China expected to consume more gas than the European Union by 2035. Due to environmental concerns in urban areas, China is rapidly adding gas to its energy mix and is growing increasingly reliant on LNG to meet demand. New policies, including price reforms that will help enable production of domestic gas resources, will push Chinese gas demand from 148 bcm in 2012 to 390 bcm in 2025, and to more than 600 bcm by 2040, at which point it will make up 11% of the country’s primary energy mix – compared to just 4% today. To meet demand, China will need to import ever-growing volumes of LNG.
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