When the International Energy Agency published a report four years ago heralding a “golden age of gas” it seemed little could derail a bright future for the energy source. Now, with prices slumping and demand in key consuming countries like China looking shaky, the energy industry’s optimism about gas seems to have fizzled out. Particular concern hovers around the market for liquefied natural gas–that is, gas which is chilled into liquid form then loaded on ships for transport elsewhere. In recent years, oil and gas majors like Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell have invested billions of dollars into LNG projects in countries like Australia and Qatar, while further vast sums have been spent on plants that turn LNG back into gas in consuming countries, all in the belief the world’s need for the fuel would rise rapidly–especially as countries, particularly in Asia, sought to move away from more polluting […]