New projections by the International Energy Agency predict that by 2024, the USA will be the world’s largest exporter of LNG, by which time China will be the world’s largest importer. The levels of exports and imports from the two nations will be roughly similar – 100 billion cubic metres of LNG – though of course this will not be because of exclusive trade with each other. The USA will be supplanting Australia and Qatar as leading exporters of the gas, while China will overtake Japan as an importer, its annual gas consumption growing at around 8% per year after last year’s 18% leap. The growth of LNG trade worldwide is predicted to rise significantly in coming years, from this year’s 474 bcm to 581 bcm in 2024, an increase of 22%. Longer term, the trade is expected to be at 654 bcm/year by 2030 (38% higher than today), 866 bcm/year by 2040 (83%) and 971 bcm by 2050 (105% higher). This will mean huge investment in ports and other transport infrastructure, as well as ships.