Japan's LNG dependence

\"\"Japan’s dependence on liquefied natural gas (LNG) will continue into the next decade, according to a poll of delegates at the World Gas Conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.

(An LNG tanker)

While 67 % of participants said that LNG is likely to continue to make up for a shortfall in nuclear power production in Japan for the next 10 years, 33 % of participants disagreed, suggesting that Japan will become less reliant on LNG over the next decade.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that Japan was likely to have imported an additional 11 billion cubic meters of gas last year to offset the reduction in nuclear power generation. The figure could soar by a third this year, the IEA reported. The Industry Snapshot Poll was conducted by global independent technical advisor GL Noble Denton on the third full day of the World Gas Conference. The poll was also completed online by senior professionals from across the industry.

Richard Bailey, GL Noble Denton’s Executive Vice President for Asia Pacific, said: “When the earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi last year, four reactors were damaged and the remaining 48 were taken offline for mandatory maintenance tests. This has severely impacted upon the country¹s energy sector, with unprecedented quantities of LNG being imported to offset the shortfall in power production and sustain economic growth.”

As Japan’s nuclear industry shows little sign of revival, and strong anti-nuclear sentiment continues to grip the country, World Gas Conference delegates have indicated that it is unlikely that the country’s reliance on LNG will end in the short to medium-term. GL Noble Denton is conducting three Industry Snapshot Polls and delegates are also being asked to vote on whether China will become the world’s largest producer of shale gas by 2030, and if Asia has the infrastructure to support growth in gas consumption.