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Spotlight on LNG: jobs, market trends and sector growth

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Spotlight on LNG: jobs, market trends and sector growth

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is the result of cooling natural gas – typically at -161.5°C (-260°F) – for the purpose of transport and storage. At 1/600th of the volume of natural gas, LNG reigns as a significantly more cost-effective option, which has incentivised uptake globally.

From heating our homes to powering businesses, LNG now contributes to a large proportion of modern-day living. And its contribution is set to soar: the IEA says global LNG capacity will expand by 25% between 2022 and 2026.

Join us as we dig deeper into this growing industry: we’ll excavate the story behind LNG’s boom and current market trends, and look at how these might impact the jobs of tomorrow.

The cleanest of the fossil fuels

LNG produces 40% less CO2 emissions than coal, and 30% less than oil. Experts forecast that natural gas, and therefore LNG, will have an increasing role in our planet’s energy future. That’s either as an independent fuel source or as a feedstock for other low-carbon options, such as blue hydrogen (hydrogen produced from natural gas).

In fact, natural gas is often labelled as a ‘transition fuel’. Many governments will depend on natural gas while they develop infrastructure to support greater use of renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, are, after all, intermittent, i.e. not constantly available, and cannot be relied upon to always meet energy demand. Queue LNG: a reliable energy source. It’s also one solution to the energy trilemma. That’s the mission of finding an energy source that is simultaneously affordable, secure and can help in the transition to net zero.

A bubbling LNG market

The LNG market has quadrupled over the past few decades. And in 2022, global LNG trade rocketed to 397 million tonnes – 60% higher than 2021 levels.

Europe and the UK prompted the bulk of this new demand while looking to sidestep Russian gas imports following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. But it’s the LNG sector on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean that has experienced some of the most dramatic change.

LNG prices in the US, the world’s largest exporter of LNG, have almost doubled over the past decade. In part, that’s due to the discovery of new natural gas reserves which, coupled with improved export terminal capacity, has stimulated global interest in US exports.

In 2022, the US exported LNG to 34 countries – up from 17 in 2016 – with the top five countries including France (15% of total exports), the UK (12%), Spain (11%), the Netherlands (10%) and South Korea (8%).

Limited pipeline and storage capacity in some states, however, such as New England, means that the region still imports some LNG (approximately 1% of US total natural gas imports).

Launching a career in LNG

While production has been ramping up, it’s still far outstripped by demand. To meet the additional 90 million tonnes of new LNG supply required to satiate this growing market, LNG projects are expanding globally.

We’ve noticed increasing volumes of LNG job vacancies at all levels. Amongst these include:

●      LNG technician: facilitates LNG production and related distribution systems.

●      LNG engineer: designs LNG operational facilities and oversees their construction

●      LNG operations manager: manages the day-to-day operations of an LNG facility, ensuring safety standards are met at all times.

●      LNG project manager: manages the development and construction of LNG facilities.

●      LNG trader: buys and sells LNG on behalf of external stakeholders, such as companies and traders.

… and many more.

For junior roles, you’ll need a degree in engineering or science. But for more senior positions, a solid background in the oil and gas sector can act as a jumping board for kickstarting a successful career in LNG.

From TotalEnergies to Shell, a career in this sector could also see you working with some of the biggest players – on projects across the world. Sound good to you?
Browse our current LNG jobs in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.