In the crisis year of 2020, the Russian Federation increased the export of liquefied natural gas
Russia in 2020, despite the crisis, slightly increased exports and expanded the geography of supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG). This follows from the final annual report of the International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL).
Exports increased by 300 thousand tons from 29.3 million tons in 2019 to 29.6 million tons last year. Pakistan, Singapore, Norway and Argentina became new buyers of Russian LNG. Most of all, supplies to the countries of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) increased by almost 3 million tons from 13.58 million tons in 2019 to 16.51 million tons in 2020. At the same time, exports to Europe, on the contrary, fell by 16.5% from 15.07 million to 12.58 million tons.
Statistics clearly show that Russian LNG supplies to Europe in 2020 decreased more than pipeline gas (a drop of 10%), so it is not entirely correct to say that domestic liquefied gas displaced pipeline gas in some markets. France - 3.44 million tons, Spain - 2.61 million tons, the Netherlands - 2.58 million tons and Great Britain - 2.07 million tons became the leaders in Europe in terms of purchasing LNG from Russia.
Spain has virtually no access to Russian pipeline gas, as do many areas of the UK, as well as some coastal and southern regions of France. These countries accounted for 63% of Russian LNG supplies, and the rest hardly affected the export potential of pipeline gas.
In Asia, most of our LNG, like last year, was purchased by Japan - 6.16 million tons (in 2019 - 6.34 million tons), which is not surprising, given the proximity of one of the Russian plants for the production of liquefied natural gas - Sakhalin- 2 "and the participation of Japanese companies in this project. China has significantly increased purchases of Russian LNG - up to 4.92 million tons (in 2019 - 2.84 million tons).
In both countries, exports from our country turned out to be higher than the indicators of the United States, our closest competitor in terms of supply growth to the region. This is especially important in relation to China, with which the United States has a trade agreement, and it was expected that in 2020, American LNG would flood the Chinese market, which is now considered the most promising in terms of gas consumption growth.
In total, last year China purchased 68.91 million tons of LNG (an increase of 11.7% compared to 2019), almost catching up on this indicator of the world leader - Japan, which imported 74.43 million tons (a decrease in consumption by 3.2 %). The leaders are also South Korea - 40.81 million tons (growth - 1.7%) and India - 26.63 million tons (growth - 11%). India could possibly have shown more impressive growth, as many analytical agencies have predicted, but the country's economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected the year's results.
In terms of export volumes, Russia, as in 2019, was in 4th place in the world, but the balance of power has slightly changed. Australia was ousted from the first line by Qatar, having increased exports by 2.4 million tons. The largest increase in LNG supplies was made by US producers - by 11 million tons. This is due to the launch of new gas liquefaction capacities in the country. Moreover, in the next three years in the United States it is planned to implement several more projects with a total capacity of 10-30 million tons.
Our country plans to produce 140 million tons of LNG by 2035. In 2021, it is planned to launch the Port LNG plant with a capacity of 1.5 million tons and the commissioning of the fourth Yamal LNG line with a capacity of 0.9 million tons. In 2023, the first line with a capacity of 8.6 million tons of the Arctic LNG-2 project is to be launched. In the future, Russia has 15 more projects for the production of LNG, but their launch is expected after 2023.