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LNG import diversification and energy security in Asia
journal contributionposted on 2019-06-01, 00:00 authored by Vlado Vivoda
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Asia's share of global demand for natural gas has increased from 12 to 21 per cent since the turn of the century, and the overall consumption has more than doubled. At the same time, there is a widening gap between regional natural gas demand and supply, with increasing reliance on imports. In 2017, Asian importers absorbed 72 per cent of globally traded liquefied natural gas (LNG). Their LNG import dependence is forecast to grow significantly over the coming decades. This paper explores major Asian importers’ approaches to LNG import diversification between 2001 and 2017 and explains why patterns of LNG imports differ across countries and over time. The focus of the paper is on five largest LNG importers in the region: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The paper utilises the Herfindahl-Hirschmann index (HHI) of market concentration to evaluate LNG import diversification across the five countries. The analysis contributes to a growing body of literature that evaluates various aspects of energy import diversification in the context of broader energy security strategies. Findings suggest that all countries have improved their LNG import portfolios, although there is significant temporal variation across countries. Reflecting on the relationship between energy security and growth, the paper concludes by outlining policy implications for regional energy policymakers.