When compared to the rest of the world, Africa is a relatively small producer of oil and gas – accounting for just nine per cent of the world’s oil output and less than six per cent of gas production. However, this year it is predicted that Africa will experience a major boost in its natural gas exports.
The driving force
Asia is Africa’s main importer of oil and gas. Combined, China and India account for a third of Africa’s crude oil exports.
Due to an increased focus on new environmental policies, China’s recent switch from coal to natural gas has triggered a natural gas boom in Asia and a rise in exports of Africa’s natural gas. The Chinese government has set targets to increase the share of natural gas in its primary energy mix from six per cent in 2015 to 15 per cent by 2030.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts natural gas will take the lead in meeting the world’s future energy needs. Natural gas demand is expected to increase almost two per cent faster than oil and coal over the next five years. Seen as a bridging fuel, natural gas is low cost, easy to source in large quantities and less damaging to the environment. With this in mind, natural gas will play a strong role in a low-carbon future.
China’s increased demand for overseas natural gas will also help to drive Africa’s exports. A continent with the resources to meet natural gas demand– Africa has newly discovered gas reserves in Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania on the east coast, all of which are ripe for investment. Africa will be able to use Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to capture and transport natural gas in large quantities to and from these hard to reach reserves, enabling the continent to better establish itself in the Oil & Gas Industry.
LNG imports tripled between 2010 and 2016, and by the close of 2018 China is projected to surpass South Korea as the world’s second-largest LNG importer.
The next frontier
During this rapid expansion of LNG use, it is crucial that LNG is accurately measured and managed during its cooling, storage and transportation.
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Want to know where the LNG industry is headed? Read our previous blog here.