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Record global LNG trade in 2015 boosted by emerging importers

TheMiddle East drove LNG demand growth in 2015 as global trade in the productincreased by 2.5% to a record 245.2 million tonnes, the International Group ofLiquefied Natural Gas Importers said in its annual report.

"LNGimports into the region more than doubled, reaching almost 10 million tonnes atyear-end thanks to new importers Egypt and Jordan," the France-basedorganization said, noting that those two countries and Pakistan absorbed acombined 5.5 million tonnes per annum, primarily through spot and short-termdeals.

Asia,however, still accounted for 72% of international LNG demand, despiteslow economic growth.

Onthe export side, four of the five final investment decisions taken during 2015were for U.S. projects, while approximately 62 Mtpa of the 140 Mtpa of new global liquefactioncapacity under construction at the end of the year were also in the U.S. In2016, "around 42 mtpa of new liquefaction capacity are expected to comeonline, 28 mtpa of which will be located in Australia," according to the report.

Globalregasificationcapacity also continued to grow, reaching 777 Mtpa at the end of 2015,including 23.5 Mtpa of new capacity. The total international LNG , meanwhile,comprised 449 vessels at the beginning of 2016, including 23 floating storageand regasification units. Still, only 33 new orders for such units were placedin 2015, compared with 77 new orders placed in 2014.