Since the autumn of 2008, the global LNG supply/demand balance has eased substantially. Demand-side factors including the impact of the financial crisis on global natural gas consumption, and supply-side factors such as launchings of new projects and progress in unconventional natural gas development in North America are behind the LNG supply/demand balance change. For the immediate future, the LNG supply/demand balance is likely to remain easy.
While the LNG situation is changing dramatically, key points to which we should pay attention over a short term with regard to a future LNG supply/demand outlook include LNG
demand trends in the United States and China and destinations for exports from new LNG facilities launching operations by 2011. Factors that are expected to have great influences on future LNG supply and demand over a edium to long term may include the impact of the financial market credit crunch on investment in new medium to long-term gas development projects, gas shortages in the Middle East, and industrial nations ongoing efforts toward a low-carbon society.