LNG Energy Outlook 2030: Future Energy Sources



1. Oil-importing nations need massive amounts of energy imports, especially LNG.

Oil-importing countries require enormous amounts of energy for industrial manufacturing and production. One of the main problems of the current energy dilemma is that there are simply not enough indigenous hydrocarbon sources available in the industrialized countries. This means that oil-importing countries must meet their energy needs from elsewhere if they want to supply their industries with cheap, permanently available energy sources. 

Indeed, hydrocarbons are crucial to the functioning of industry. Heavy industry in particular has a massive need for a continuous supply of hydrocarbons because of a constant demand for energy. This demand can only partially be met by renewable energy sources due to the lower EROI of wind and solar energy. Hydroelectric power plants can be an exception. 

2. LNG must compensate for diminishing hydrocarbon resources in the North Sea.

LNG is a suitable alternative to meet the energy needs of energy-dependent nations in Western Europe. This also applies to the countries bordering the North Sea, which are confronted with dwindling oil and gas reserves in the North Sea. There is also a certain time pressure to build the necessary energy infrastructure. The Western European states and energy companies would have to find suitable hydrocarbon sources in a very short time to ensure low energy prices for their domestic industry.

In general, Europe is supplied by pipeline gas from the Russian Federation and LNG from the ports of the United States and the Gulf States. In the foreseeable future, the United States will want to increase its LNG supplies to Western Europe, as the United States has an energy surplus due to tight oil and tight gas. It has been shown that tight oil and tight gas businesses make a significant contribution to the energy independence of the United States. Although it is uncertain how long the tight oil and tight gas boom will continue, the U.S. will continue to rely on domestic hydrocarbon fuels for some time to come. This also means that the USA will not be dependent on hydrocarbon imports from the Gulf States. 

3. Qatar is a major supplier of LNG to East Asia and increasingly to Western Europe

Qatar is an important exporter of LNG. An increasing share of LNG goes to East Asia, with China being a particularly important customer. To a certain extent, China assures Qatar and the Gulf States of sales growth. The fact that the United States will import less hydrocarbons from the Gulf States will free up capacity for LNG and petroleum products to Europe. In Western Europe, pipeline gas will therefore compete with LNG from the United States as well as LNG from the Gulf States.

4. Conclusion

Western Europe will continue to have relatively extensive freedom of choice with regard to the framework conditions for energy imports. In the medium term, Western Europe will have access to a broad pool of energy sources. LNG offers Western Europe an alternative way to meet its energy import needs. The core demand for LNG lies in the industry. The industry has set itself the goal of CO2 neutrality in many areas, but is tied to cheap energy in order to be able to produce competitively in Germany and Western Europe. The USA offers better conditions on the energy side, especially in heavy industry.

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