Crafting a New Roadmap for Shell with LNG
Given the drastic downturn in oil prices over the past two years, all businesses that were previously awash in profits in this particular industry have looked elsewhere to open up new revenue streams. Shell Oil’s current focus is in the area of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which helps explain their takeover of BG Group.
Having paid $70 billion for the company when the deal closed in February of this year, Shell now has approximately a one-fifth share of the entire LNG market. That’s due to a strong presence all across the world, especially when it comes to plants in places like Australia and Egypt. The fact that it offers strong sales markets in both the United Kingdom and United States enhances the chance to alleviate the financial crunch.
Another factor in Shell’s push into this area is the desire for alternatives to petroleum as the commodity of choice. As opposed to petroleum, which is still perceived by critics and climate change supporters as a “dirty” option, LNG is the most economic answer to that charge.
The building of LNG plant requires a much lower investment when compared to drilling costs and offshore operations. Those savings and a push to make all vehicles dependent upon these cleaner fuels could help make the bottom line a stronger one for Shell.
The current problem, though, is that Northeast Asia has seen a 30 percent drop in the amount of LNG they’ve imported. Given their status as one of the world’s largest importers, it suggests that the glut, which has hamstrung the oil business, is currently doing the same to the LNG industry.
Another area of concern is the growing interest in solar and wind power, which don’t bring with them the potential volatility that LNG does.