The biggest LNG destination on Earth is Japan – has been for decades. Japan is an island nation that cannot economically land pipelines on its territory so if they want to have Natural gas, the only option they have is LNG. China is very different as it gets pipeline gas from multiple directions and in theory, could negotiate more of them. But pipeline gas has a price as well which people tend to forget. By a certain distance, LNG becomes cheaper. It was not visible with Japan – now it is.
With Japan’s LNG demand in decline, China is set to become the world’s largest LNG market this year, according to energy intelligence group Wood Mackenzie.