In these 'strange and uncertain times', we have not only been given a deadly virus to overcome, but also a healthy dose of reality.
In some ways, we have become too comfortable, relying entirely on the complicated machine that is our civilisation. You want food? Order it online. You want a drink? Go to a bar. Admittedly, things have not quite reached apocalyptic levels just yet, but now that some of these commodities that we take for granted have been taken away from us – for however long – an opportunity has been provided for us to reflect on how truly blessed we are to live in the 21st Century. Once we emerge from our bunkers with vitamin D deficiencies and agoraphobic paranoia, I have no doubt whatsoever that we will never be more grateful to do something as simple as go to a café ever again.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic will come to an end, and all of the data proves that it will not be nearly as fatal as some of those other well-known health emergencies, such as The Black Death or Spanish Flu. Nevertheless, it will be a challenge, not only for the millions that will lose family members to the virus, but also the economy. As demand dries up in a cohort of different industries, some companies are likely to go under. Planning ahead becomes an activity akin to looking into a crystal ball or playing with tarot cards, as neither governments nor experts can agree on an exact timeframe, with some predicting three months until we return to some degree of normality, and others forecasting over a year of restrictions.
LNG, of course, has not escaped the shadow of the virus. According to Reuters, LNG suppliers have been flooding the LNG spot market with excess cargoes as global demand continues to dwindle.1 With industrial production beginning to dry up, the same demand is simply not there for LNG. Of course, once the crisis is well and truly over, industry will look to ramp up production once more. However, who's to say that LNG will be the fuel of choice? Will Asian industry, for instance, prefer to stick with coal for the short-term, opting to avoid any potential complications surrounding LNG? All of this remains to be seen.
Whilst we batten down the hatches and ride out this storm, we hope you enjoy this latest issue of LNG Industry magazine.
This issue includes features on cryogenic equipment, pumps and valves, turbomachinery, loading arms, maintenance and monitoring, and more. In addition to this, Thomas Liles of Rystad Energy takes an in-depth look at the ever-interesting Canadian LNG market, starting on page 10.
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We will continue to work closely with the industry to ensure that we bring you innovative new products, especially in these unfortunate times when many of our long-standing partners have had to postpone or cancel key industry events.
- JAGANATHAN, J., 'RPT-UPDATE 2-LNG suppliers flood market with excess spot cargoes as demand shrinks', Reuters, (30 March 2020), https://uk.reuters.com/article/global-lng-exports/rpt-update-2-lng-suppliers-flood-market-with-excess-spot-cargoes-as-demand-shrinks-idUKL1N2BN021