Sales pitch: LNG supporters say fuel can be a low-carbon bridge to renewables

During the World LNG & Gas Series America’s Summit in Lake Charles, Louisiana, attendees debated how to open up new markets for liquefied natural gas exports around the world. One potential solution: increased efforts to sell LNG as the low-carbon fuel of the present and the bridge to the renewable energy sources of the future.

Multiple discussions focused on efforts to tackle climate change while allowing emerging economies to continue to grow. Observers said LNG could be sold as the answer to both of these problems.

“Carbon emissions are a global problem and require global solutions,” said Octavio Simoes, President and CEO of Tellurain LNG. “Natural gas is the key to this solution. “

Simoes said countries with developed economies are concerned about climate change, but should not ignore the reality that large parts of the world are more concerned with basic quality of life issues.

“We have to face the fact that the rest of the world needs energy,” he said. “How many sources are helping the planet while meeting energy demand?

The largest importer of LNG is also the seat of many developing economies: Asia.

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Atsunori Takeuchi, general manager and general manager of Tokyo Gas LNG Optimization and Trade Department, said his company sees LNG as an asset in creating a low-carbon future. In the near future, said the head of Tokyo Gas, Asia could import up to 500 million tonnes of LNG per year.

“LNG has a great opportunity to serve as a decarbonization tool,” he said.

Takeuchi said Tokyo Gas has entered into long-term agreements with 16 different LNG producers from six different countries in order to control costs. US exports, he said, have the advantage of being cheaper and more consistent than most competitors.

“Gas prices in the United States are as stable as possible,” he said. “This means that American LNG is of great importance.”

While the scenario Takeuchi describes looks very promising for the United States, Simoes said the federal government seems determined to let it go. The hostility shown by the Biden administration towards oil and natural gas, he said, makes things more difficult for LNG exporters.

“The rest of the world didn’t trust investments in the United States,” he said. “When some projects lost their certificates when they were already operational… and we talk about banning hydraulic fracturing, they won’t do it. “

Simoes said there is an opportunity for further LNG exports from the United States, but only if the federal government is supportive. Otherwise, developing economies will seek alternative energy sources and the opportunity to reduce emissions may be lost.

“Do you think (developing countries) will wait for the arrival of renewable energies? ” he said.

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