Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)


Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)


Japan embraces gas support for the G7 but companies may face long-term challenges

the Japanese energy companies rushed to adopt G7 support for investing in natural gas

in their statement last month. However,

analysts have warned that reliance on fossil

fuels may expose companies to long-term problems.



Japanese Gas

Australian Gas











Japanese Gas


Japan, a resource-poor and the world’s largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG)

is committed to gas as a transitional fuel to achieve net carbon emission targets

while ensuring energy security. However,

this contradicts the demands of other G7 members to reduce everything,

calling for fossil fuel use sooner rather than later.


Climate activists argue that Japan’s insistence on continuing to rely on gas

could delay global climate change goals,

especially as energy companies in Japan are reaping significant

profits from their investments in this sector.


Ultimately, climate ministers of the G7 agreed last month,

despite disagreements between Japan and European countries,

that gas investments “could be appropriate to help address potential market shortages”

due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting disruptions in global energy markets.


On Monday, Takahiro Honjo, Chairman of the Japan Gas Association,

stated that the fact that the G7 clarified that investing in natural gas is appropriate eases some

investment risks for Japanese companies looking to continue spending on projects.


However, analysts warn that Japan’s long-term goals of carbon emission reduction

in its energy sector will devalue future gas projects.


Yuko Nopuka, Chief Analyst at Japan Energy Research at Refinitiv, said,

“The short lead time of shale gas or LNG projects as well as the flexibility of contracts align

well with what major consumers, including Japan and Europe, are seeking in this age of uncertainty.”

But I believe that Japanese companies will generally hesitate to participate in gas

projects in the future, especially those that take a long time.

She said the main reason is the country’s long-term ambition to decarbonize.


Japan’s support for gas conflicts with findings that new gas investments,

which consist mainly of methane-causing greenhouse gases and

produce carbon dioxide emissions when burned for energy, may undermine climate goals.






International Energy Agency


The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that new investments in fossil fuel

supplies cannot be made if the world wants to limit global

warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).


However, gas investments have been profitable for Japanese energy companies, leading to record profits.


Other G7 countries, including Germany, have also spent money on liquefied

natural gas infrastructure after the invasion of Ukraine.


Japan also heavily relies on gas from Russia, its third-largest supplier,

especially from the Sakhalin Island natural gas project.


Due to this dependence, Japanese energy companies are keen to diversify gas supply

sources to involve Australia and the United States.


The CEO of Marubeni Corp, last week, said that Marubeni Corp believes gas

“will be an essential resource in the future.”

Tokyo Gas, the prime gas supplier in the Japanese capital with assets in LNG

and other fossil fuel types, praised the G7 language on gas and plans to continue

investing in gas infrastructure in Asia and shale gas exploration assets in the United States.


Eneos Holdings, Japan’s largest oil refiner, plans to invest 180 billion yen

over three years in oil and gas exploration, including additional development of LNG in Asia.


However, Japan’s declared intention to reduce carbon emissions

may mean that these gas investments carry some risks.


Climate and energy ministers in the G7 have also set ambitious new collective

targets for solar and offshore wind energy, and have agreed to accelerate

renewable energy, which could undermine gas demand.


The International Energy Agency believes that global gas

consumption has reached a high level this decade,

and data from the Japanese Ministry of Finance shows that

demand in the country has been declining in recent months.










Australian Gas


The vast liquefied natural Australian gas industry is attempting to achieve something

that seems almost impossible.

They want to lead the transition to clean and renewable energy while

continuing to invest in and produce fossil fuels.


The overall message from the industry’s annual conference was that

liquefied natural gas producers see themselves as the only ones leading

the way in the net-zero transition and are well-positioned to offer solutions that

simultaneously eliminate carbon emissions and meet the world’s energy needs.


Australia is the largest source of liquefied natural gas in the world,

although the United States and Qatar, their competitors,

are likely to surpass them as these two countries are expanding their capacities at a faster pace.


Australian liquefied natural gas producers also aim to develop new natural gas

fields and facilities while investing billions of dollars to decarbonize their industry

and develop new energy sources such as hydrogen and ammonia.


What the industry discussed at the Australian Petroleum Production and

Exploration Association (APPEA) event this week was a plan to continue business

as usual while intensifying efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.


Meg O’Neill, the CEO of Woodside Energy, Australia’s largest oil and gas producer,

and the president of APPEA stated at the conference that the liquefied natural gas industry

is “not a passenger on the road to zero. We are the driver.”

The argument is that current and new liquefied natural gas should continue

because it is 50% cleaner than coal when used for electricity generation.


At the same time, the liquefied natural gas industry needs to invest in carbon capture,

utilization, and storage (CCUS) during the production and transportation phase

of the liquefied natural gas cycle to reduce emissions.


The CCUS technology challenge lies in its widespread deployment,

high costs, and the fact that capturing emissions from natural gas extraction

and liquefied natural gas production only removes about 20% of total emissions,

with the majority of carbon dioxide released during fuel combustion.


The industry also sees itself well-positioned to drive the transition to hydrogen and ammonia,

fuels that can be created from hydrogen and are easier to transport and store.


The oil and gas sector can also contribute to solutions that are still in the ideation phase,

such as carbon capture at the point of combustion,

as demonstrated in a power plant in Japan and liquefying carbon dioxide for recharging

in depleted underground reservoirs in Australia.


artıcle name Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)