Crisis Casts Doubt on Gas' Fate in South Asia

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group

Import-dependent South Asian economies are scrambling for fuels to fire their power stations amid multiyear high prices for LNG and coal. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are considered fertile growth markets for LNG, but the crunch is testing their resolve to rely on the volatile fuel in the energy transition. Asian LNG prices jumped to $35 per million Btu last week from below $2/MMBtu last year as markets went from glut to shortage at breakneck speed this year. While India has been importing LNG since 2004, Pakistan became an importer in 2016 and Bangladesh joined the club two years later, anticipating gas markets would remain well supplied and cheap for years to come. Meanwhile, the price of 4,200 kcal/kg Indonesian coal has jumped fivefold since its 2020 low to hit a record high of over $122 a ton last week.

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