Total Sees Natural Gas Demand Outpacing Oil

Total Sees Natural Gas Demand Outpacing OilTotal Sees Natural Gas Demand Outpacing Oil

French oil and gas company Total SA expects the global natural gas market to grow far faster than that for crude oil over the next two decades, thanks to booming demand for the cleaner-burning fuel in Asia—an outlook that underpinned Total’s recent big investments in the field, the company's CEO said.

Total expects to close a $1.5 billion acquisition of Engie SA’s liquefied natural gas assets in July, making it the second biggest producer of the super-cooled gas in the world behind Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Reuters reported.

“Over the next 20 years ... we see many scenarios where consumption of natural gas will grow at a pace of next to 2% per year versus 1% or 1.5% for oil,” Patrick Pouyanne also said at the World Gas Conference in Washington, D.C.

Total’s numbers differ from those of the US Energy Information Administration, which predicts global natural gas growth to average 1.5% per year between now and 2050, versus 0.7% for crude oil.

When Total completes the Engie LNG acquisition, it will have 10% of the world LNG market, from 6% now. It will manage 40 million tons per annum of LNG volumes, from 15.6 now and will boost the number of LNG carriers it operates to 13 from three.

Pouyanne said Total is investing in the entire natural gas chain from production to liquefaction for overseas shipping, to sale as a fuel for power, petrochemicals and transport.

He said the global growth the company expects is being driven by low-cost production from US shale fields alongside strong demand in Asia, particularly in China.

China this month threatened 25% tariffs on US petroleum imports in response to US tariffs on Chinese goods, but did not add LNG to the list.

“I hope we will not lose the Chinese market,” Pouyanne said.

"But even if LNG was impacted by the trade dispute in the short-term, Total remains bullish."

“When you invest in something like LNG, you are doing it for the next 25 or 30 years,” Pouyanne said.


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