Africa is on the cusp of a liquefied natural gas boom. That’s in part due to accelerating global demand. It’s also down to a fast-track method of getting the fuel to market.
Kosmos Energy Ltd.’s project in Mauritania and Senegal, set to get the go-ahead next month, will use a floating vessel to convert gas from the offshore Tortue field into LNG. Such units, which can be built out of existing tankers, reduce the time from exploration to export, helping to lure investment and boost enthusiasm for gas development in a region traditionally focused on oil.
Rising gas consumption in Asia is driving growth in global demand. The expansion could see Africa’s total LNG output capacity almost double by 2030, according to consultants Rystad Energy SA. That jump in output is aided by a series of floating projects. In floating LNG’s favor is its portability and comparatively fast project development.
Africa is not the only region investing in LNG however. The U.S., Qatar, Russia and Australia among others are all spending billions to bring LNG export plans to fruition as demand for the fuel soars. This competition will limit Africa’s rise as a producer, however, the continent will gain in importance, given its strategic location between the Atlantic and Pacific basins.