The global gas industry, boosted by a host of new projects to feed booming demand, is in better shape than at any point in the last five years but analysts warn it is getting ahead of itself, pointing to the rise of renewable energy as a threat.
Commodity merchant Vitol expects trade in liquefied natural gas (LNG) to double to 600 million tonnes annually (mtpa) in the coming years, reflecting forecasts by Russian LNG producer Novatek which sees 700 mtpa by 2030.
Still, not everybody is buying into the industry’s confidence, warning the fast rise of cheap renewable power generation, backed up by improving battery technology, would increasingly take market share away from the gas industry.
“The oil and gas industry are undergoing major disruption from electrification and renewables,” said Bernadette Cullinane, of Deloitte Consulting.
“LNG producers must lower costs to compete with solar plus storage,” she said, warning that projects vying for investment, but unable to reduce costs enough to compete with renewables, were likely fail. Reuters