Liquefied Natural Gas
David Lawrence, formerly a research geologist for Shell, guides the energy investment and advisory firm Lawrence Energy Group LLC. With Shell experience informing next generation solutions, David Lawrence focuses on practical and commercial implications of the energy transition, conventional,and unconventional oil and gas plays around the world, harnessing renewable energy sources, as well as emissions-friendly natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
A recent Forbes article brought focus to a US LNG market that has repeatedly achieved record highs in recent years. With LNG exports exceeding 5 billion cubic feet per day at the end of 2018, it now provides four percent of gas consumed in the United States. The market with China is particularly vital: despite an absence of off-take agreements, the country is the third-leading purchaser of LNG after Mexico and South Korea.
LNG export capacities continue to expand, with a new Corpus Christi, Texas, LNG export facility having come online and started receiving liquefaction trains in November. With three more export facilities expected to launch in 2019, the Gulf Coast region will benefit from an estimated $20 to 25 billion inflow over the next four years. During this time, China has 15 regasification terminals that will start operations, with LNG expected to reach as much as 25 percent of the volume of US gas output by 2023.
Formerly a Shell executive, David Lawrence is an energy advisor and investor who brings focus to oil and natural gas solutions, as well as those involving renewables such as wind and solar power. David Lawrence has a wealth of experience working with Shell, large and small independent energy companies, investors including private equity and buy and sell side analysts, government and academia that informs his efforts to strategically position energy firms and service providers at the cusp of the energy transition, including emerging green energy markets, unconventional and conventional oil and gas plays around the world, the evolving role of natural gas and comparative energy scenario outlooks.
A Windpower Engineering and Development article from early 2019 highlighted wind capacity’s emergence as a driver of new electric generating capacity. As reported by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), electric power capacity that comes online this year will come primarily from renewables. With expected capacity additions totaling 23.7 GW for 2019, capacity retirements will amount to only 8.3 GW.
Among utility-scale capacity additions, wind power leads the way at 46 percent, with natural gas reaching 34 percent and solar photovoltaics, 18 percent. The two percent remaining comes from sources such as battery storage capacity and other renewables. Major coal retirements are expected to occur during the latter half of 2019, with Navajo, which has maintained Arizona operations since the 1970s, expected to retire its 4.5 GW capacity.
David Lawrence, a Yale-educated PhD geologist, held executive roles at energy giant Shell for many years. Following his tenure at Shell, David Lawrence founded Lawrence Energy Group, an energy consulting firm that rigorously evaluates the energy transition and analyses carbon reduction trends and strategies.
Between 2005 and 2017, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from energy consumption in the US declined by 758 million metric tons, a reduction of about 14 percent. In 2016, US carbon emissions were the lowest in 24 years. This decrease is attributed in large part to the shift of generating electricity with fuels derived from natural gas that are less carbon-intensive alternatives to petroleum and coal.
This trend may plateau in the next several years. US carbon emissions are projected to rise by just under 2 percent in 2018 and to remain steady for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the level of emissions estimated for 2019 will be 13 percent lower than those recorded in 2005. Notably, carbon emissions in the US continued to decline even during periods of slight economic growth over this period, in large part because of the increased role of natural gas as well as the significant rise of wind energy and solar in the electricity sector.