This leaves gas as the junior partner in the energy triangle with 307 million tonnes of trade in 2013, of which 244 million tonnes was LNG and an estimated 63 million tonnes was LPG, according to Dr Martin Stopford, director of Clarksons plc., the world’s largest shipbroker.
According to Clarksons, LNG has a bright future ahead with respect to sea transport, especially having in mind its environmentally-friendly features.
Even though there is fierce competition from coal and oil, particularly if considering the land and air transport fuel market, once the necessary infrastructure is in place, LNG will be ready for a bigger piece of energy cake.
This is confirmed by the speedy growth of LNG demand, as Stopford explains.
“44 years since the first LNG shipment by sea to Asia, global trade in 2013 reached 532m cbm, or 244m tonnes, with a fleet of 31m dwt. For comparison, after 44 years seaborne oil trade only reached 55m tonnes and the tanker fleet was just 9.5m dwt (in 1928), ” he said.
Speaking of the prospects, Stopford added:“If current growth trends continue, LNG trade could reach one billion tonnes in the 2030s. It is easy to believe that there will be demand in an energy hungry world for this clean fuel, despite its limitations. But in the meantime LNG is a niche player, trading luxury fuel to price sensitive markets. Which makes it tricky, even for the big boys.”