LNG Supply May Rise More Slowly Next Year, U.K. Consultant Says

Liquefied natural gas supplies may grow next year at about half of this year’s rate, even as new production lines begin in Australia and Angola, a U.K. consultant said.

Output in 2012 may increase by about 5 percent, or about 12 million metric tons, to about 254 million tons, Andy Flower, a U.K.-based independent consultant and former executive at BP Plc’s LNG unit, said in an e-mail today. Output delivered to import sites may rise 9.5 percent to about 242 million tons this year, he said.

“Supply growth will certainly slow, and there is already clear evidence in the data for the second half of 2011 that it is already happening,” Flower said. Demand will essentially equal supply, since storage is limited, and if you store LNG for very long, it will boil away, he said.

Three new trains are scheduled to start next year, including Chevron Corp.’s Angola LNG and Woodside Petroleum Ltd.’s Australia venture in the first quarter. Operations at Algeria’s Skikda facility are set to start in the third quarter after a rebuild there, he said.

Growth of global demand for LNG may rise in 2012 by 7.5 percent, a slowdown from “double digit demand growth” this year, according to a note by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. on Dec. 13. Consumption may rise to 258 million metric tons next year, compared with an estimated 240 million tons this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dinakar Sethuraman in New Delhi at dinakar@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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