Japan has been importing liquefied natural gas since 1969, starting with its first shipment from Alaska and expanding its supplier base over the years to 17 nations in 2011. But many of its supply contracts, with extensions, date from the 1970s and 1980s and will expire over the next decade, pushing buyers to negotiate new deals.
“Some industry analysts suggest that this is driving Japanese firms’ interest in acquiring equity stakes in foreign liquefaction projects, in an effort to guarantee future supply,” said a country analysis on Japan the U.S. Energy Information Administration updated June 4.
Japanese firms already own stakes in five LNG export projects in Australia. They also hold equity shares in operating and proposed projects in Russia, Indonesia and Canada.