US-based oil major ExxonMobil is looking to handle more than twice as much liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of the decade, according to a top executive from the company speaking in an interview with Nikkei.
ExxonMobil, which also makes Mobil slideway oil and other fluids for industry, is currently believed to trade about 22 million tons of LNG each year, but its plans would see this increase to 40 million tons as it seeks to meet increasing demand from Asia and Europe. LNG is becoming increasingly popular as an interim replacement for other fossil fuels like coal, because it emits fewer greenhouse gas emissions when combusted as a fuel, while European buyers have been turning towards LNG as a replacement for pipeline Russian gas.
Exxon’s vice president for LNG marketing, Andrew Barry, said to Nikkei:
“We’re very bullish about the growth opportunities in natural gas and LNG. When you think about that in the portfolio with a corporation, investing in more LNG is certainly part of the strategy.”
He also said that while the supply-and-demand situation had been helped last year by a mild winter, the market for LNG could become challenging if both Asia and Europe experience a cold winter. He also said that LNG customers were again preferring to enter into multi-year contracts rather than rely on the spot market.
ExxonMobil has an interest in various LNG projects around the world, including projects to build liquefaction plants with QatarEnergy in both Qatar and the United States.