Abstract

Natural gas development projects to satisfy the growing needs of Asian markets of up to 3 billion people are proceeding on a large scale. Development projects are being staged and the overall form of the integrated natural gas energy grid is becoming evident. The installation of this energy grid is being driven by the current economic expansion throughout Asia. The increasingly rapid industrialization with the more deregulated free enterprise markets bodes well for sustained economic growth consistent with environmental concerns during the next three decades.

This paper presents the current and future trends for the development and integration of the 1ILJtIlrai gas energy grid to satisfy the needs of Asian markets. This energy grid at present utilizes a combination of transportation systems including surface and subsea pipelines, LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier ships, and conversion of natural gas to liquid fuels, which is expected to continue. The total reserves base excluding new discoveries, presently available for this energy grid is 500 TSCF (trillion standard cubic feet) of natural gas. Current and future challenges include achieving the cost reduction potential of advanced technologies, and satisfying conditions of supply reliability, pricing and workable commercial contracts.

Introduction

The emerging prospects for the large scale natural gas development and integration for Asian markets is essentially the result of confidence based on the economic vitality and interdependence1 from increasing regional trade_ At the same time, developing countries in Asia have recognized the merits of deregulation and free enterprise and have taken practical steps2 to encourage sound development on this basis. Individual governments are also developing and implementing integrated national energy use plans3 and are moving towards increased regional cooperation.

Two examples are ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) which includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum) which includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea. Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States. APEC, with India and Pakistan, comprise about 3 billion people, which is about the same as currently reside in Asia.

The overall form of the large scale natural gas energy grid LO serve the needs of the Asian markets is becoming evident The Asia Pacific natural gas utilization grid4,5 shown in Figure 1 includes surface and subsurface pipelines as well as LNG carriers. Figure 2 illustrates in greater detail the widely discussed pipeline (or conceivably LNG carrier) routes proposed from the Middle East to India. At present, the overall energy grid is less than one-third complete, particularly with respect to the longer distance pipelines.

Further development and completion of this natural gas energy grid is expected to occur over the next three decades. This will entail integration of existing and new facilities to ensure optimal development at the lowest overall cost compatible with environmental considerations. The achievement of this objective will involve realizing the cost reduction potential of advanced technologies as well as supply reliability and acceptable pricing consistent with workable commercial contracts.

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