The International Gas Union (IGU) has released its 2019 world LNG report – an annual, in-depth analysis of the current state of the global LNG industry over the past year.

The latest report highlighted 2018 as another strong year for the LNG industry. Global LNG trade set a record for the fifth consecutive year, reaching 316.5 million tonnes (MT), marking a significant increase of 28.2MT, or 9.8% from 2017.

The overall growth in global LNG trade can be attributed primarily to increases in LNG supply – coming from higher production at new liquefaction plants.

The greatest increase in LNG export occurred in Australia, due to new trains coming on-stream and higher utilisation at existing facilities. Other significant contributors to LNG supply for 2018 were the US and Russia.

Increasing demand in 2018 played an essential role as a key driver of growth in the global LNG trade. The additions of Bangladesh and Panama as the two newest importing markets last year brought the total number of importing markets to 37.

“The future looks bright for LNG, as evidenced by the fifth consecutive record-breaking year for global trade. With increases in both demand from across the world, and ramping up of supply to meet it, it is clear, that nations across the globe are recognising LNG’s ability to provide a clean, efficient, and affordable source of energy,” said Professor Joe Kang, President of the IGU.

“The vibrant LNG industry brings great benefits to society by improving energy security and offering opportunities to meet emissions targets, while facilitating access to energy in diverse markets around the world. We only anticipate the upward trend for global trade to continue, and for natural gas to keep improving the quality of life for millions of people as it becomes increasingly more accessible,” Kang concluded.