By the Numbers: Growing Natural Gas Demand in Southeast Asia

The data driving Asia
Southeast Asia’s rapid economic growth has led to increasing demands for both conventional and alternative energy sources. The region is a net oil importer, representing over 5 percent of global oil demand—a trend expected to accelerate in the coming years. Countries in the region have addressed this energy gap by turning to alternative resources, the biggest of which is liquefied natural gas (LNG). Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are leading Southeast Asia’s growing appetite for LNG. Indonesia and Malaysia, the region’s largest energy exporters, are facing aging gas fields and skyrocketing domestic demands at the same time. We explore the outlook of natural gas demand in Southeast Asia, and how it could affect the future landscape of energy markets by the numbers.

Malaysian LNG Port

LNG port in Bintulu, Malaysia. Source: Ahmad Afif Isa’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.

50 million tons

The amount of LNG per year that Southeast Asia is projected to demand by 2025, up from current level of merely 2.2 million tons per year. This represents a third of total Asian demand for LNG by 2025, according to Nicholas Browne, senior gas market analyst at Wood Mackenzie. In comparison, India is projected to represent just one-seventh of LNG demand in Asia by the same year.


The percentage accounted for in 2010 by trade in LNG between North America and the Asia-Pacific in the global natural gas trade. This low base signifies a substantial opportunity for increased future LNG trade between the two regions. Current gas prices in Asia are significantly higher than they are in North America, meaning shipping costs could be easily offset.


The potential amount of gas subsidies from the Malaysian government by 2016. Malaysia spent over $6 billion in gas subsidies in 2011, but the government is working toward completely deregulating gas prices by 2016.

$2 billion

The amount invested by PTT, Thailand’s state-owned energy company, in a large natural gas field in Mozambique in 2012. PTT made headlines last year when it outbid giant Royal Dutch Shell for a stake in this project. The company currently has 45 projects in 12 countries, and is looking to invest in North American shale gas and offshore gas projects in Myanmar.


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