Marchés gaziers du Sud-Est asiatique : évolutions et enseignements
New Trends and Lessons from Southeast Asian Natural Gas Market
Institut Français du Pétrole
Le contexte et les évolutions observés dans le Sud-Est asiatique constituent des objets d'analyse privilégiés pour l'identification des facteurs de développement des marchés du gaz naturel à l'échelle de la planète. Après avoir explicité la croissance des consommations nationales dans la région, tant dans les pays industrialisés que dans les Pays en Voie de Développement (PVD), nous verrons ce qui en découle du point de vue de la dynamique régionale des échanges de gaz naturel. Cette analyse nous conduira à détailler l'intérêt et les conditions d'un recours accru au gaz naturel dans les PVD. Au terme de cette démarche, l'obstacle fondamental aux développements gaziers dans ce groupe de pays sera mis en évidence.
Within the current world context of the growth of reserves and consumption of natural gas, the Southeast Asia area is due for special analysis for several reasons. In particular, an effort must be made to understand the mutations taking place and the stakes in the growing interest producers and consumers are showing in this energy source. The economic performances of combined-cycle power plants make natural gas a competitive energy source for use in generating electricity. Many countries in the area have to cope with a very fast increase in the demand for electricity and have been led to introduce this type of equipment in their plans to expand their electric power plants. This policy enables them to make use of an energy source to which access is initially constrained by necessity, because of the presence of economies of scale, to consume large volumes. Consumption by the electric sector effectively markes it possible for all these countries to consume this energy in industrial and residential-tertiary sectors where its specific qualities are readily apparent. The introduction of natural gas is also a way of diversifying energy supplies. For the industrialized countries (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong), this opportunity is a way of getting around the difficulties linked to the meeting of the demand for electricity involving giving consideration to pollutant emissions resulting from the use of coal and the mistrust of public opinion with regard to nuclear energy. For the LDCs (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia), the low capital intensity involved in generating electricity by this type of power plant and the short lead times for installing such equipment are extremely attractive in a period of capital scarcity and fat growth that is difficult to anticipate concerning the demand for electricity. The dynamics of regional flows of natural gas is characterized by a sharp increase in the amounts of LNG imported by the industrialized countries and coming from the LDCs having the natural-gas resources in the area. The countries in this latter group are finding a new development vector in the domestic use of this energy resource. However, this use of gas, which is particularly advantageous from the economic standpoint with regard to the export option, risks being limited in the future because of the dynamism of export markets capable, in time, of absorbing most of the reserves of natural gas. The economic dynamism of some LDCs in Southeast Asia has shown that the domestic markets in some LDCs are new areas for the extension of the use of natural gas. Considering the geographic distribution of reserves (proven and ultimate) and the very high cost of the international shipment of natural gas, this new factor is a seed for mutation concerning the expansion dynamics of the world gas industry. To take advantage of the opportunities linked to this context, the different actors involved in implementing the use of natural gas in the LDCs must find solutions to the specific problems created by the nature of the business relations they entail, In particular, this implies giving consideration to the specific features of the outlet for electricity generation (use rivaled by coal, cost of gas having a very high fixed component) as well as the recourse to new cooperative schemes and to the improvement of the legal and contractual setting governing the gas industry.
© IFP, 1993