Shipowners and traders of liquefied natural gas (LNG) say the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to rapidly adjust their businesses.Image Credit: Google
With some choosing to scrap vessels and others delaying new buildings as they contend with a plunge in demand for the super-chilled fuel.Image Credit: Google
The fall in global LNG trade has been stark. Exports from Qatar, the world’s top supplier.Image Credit: Google
This were down 13% in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.Image Credit: Google
South Korea, the second-biggest buyer, imported 19% less LNG last year. Japan, the largest market, saw a drop of 8%.Image Credit: Google
The pandemic has slashed gas demand in many parts of the world as factories closed and people stayed home.Image Credit: Google
It has also hit oil prices, which have a big influence on LNG because the fuel is often linked to crude benchmarks in long-term contracts.Image Credit: Google
That has led to a glut of LNG and depressed prices for the commodity, making it uneconomic for some producers to keep selling.Image Credit: Google
Some shipowners have sought to take advantage of the low prices and high availability of the fuel by quickly converting oil tankers into LNG carriers.
A process that can take as little as six weeks.