IT RIVALS iron ore as the world’s second-biggest traded commodity – after oil – yet the liquefied natural gas trade remains opaque and illiquid. This is about to change, irking the supermajors that have monopolised the long-term point-to-point business for decades. LNG is coming of age as a commodity.
For years, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas sellers boasted at industry gatherings about the endless potential for demand growth in Asia. Until recently, LNG’s relatively high price and the commodity’s inflexible trade have been its undoing.
ONE of the biggest barriers to clean energy’s advance has been finding funding to bolster its growth. But as financing has become cheaper and easier, global investment in clean energy has risen significantly, from $60.2 billion in 2004 to $310 billion in 2014 – a whopping 415% jump.
THE plunge in oil prices has been portrayed as a severe blow to clean energy deployment, particularly renewables. But the effects will be modest in major electricity markets – where the bulk of the clean energy transformation has taken place so far – and where renewables mostly compete with gas and coal.
AT LEAST one of the major oil companies, perhaps Total or Statoil, will turn its back on fossil fuels within the next three years, following in the footsteps of European utility E.ON, a former industry advisor predicts.
INTERNATIONAL oil companies claim gas and renewables are ideal bedfellows, while many environmentalists believe the rise of gas, particularly shale gas, will delay the world’s shift away from fossil fuels.