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Worldwide demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has doubled since 2000, and for investors looking to enter this burgeoning market, LNG shipping stocks are a great play.
Global demand for LNG has doubled in the past 14 years, and is expected to double again by 2025. China alone expects to triple its current use of natural gas by 2020.
The United States is positioned perfectly to ride the LNG wave.
According to BP's Energy Outlook 2035, which was published in January, the United States will double its current production of shale gas by 2035. The report also indicated that the United States will become the world's largest natural gas producer in that time.
Not surprisingly, companies are champing at the bit to open LNG export facilities in the United States. Currently, more than 20 energy companies are awaiting government approval on the construction of LNG exporting facilities.
Once all that liquefied natural gas is ready to be exported, someone will need to ship it.
These companies are positioned perfectly to do just that…
The Top LNG Shipping Stocks to Buy Now
Golar LNG (Nasdaq: GLNG) has been shipping LNG for over 30 years and has a fleet of 13 vessels. Most importantly, GLNG is expecting to add 11 new vessels to its fleet in 2014.
Golar does more than just shipping. It was the developer of the world's first floating storage and regasification unit, which receives oil or gas, processes it, and stores it so it can be unloaded onto a tanker or transferred via a pipeline. Golar also owns 25% of the Douglas Channel LNG project in British Columbia.
GLNG stock's long-term potential amidst an LNG boom is one of the strongest in the LNG shipping industry. Investors who have held GLNG stock for a few years have been rewarded with a 129% gain since January 2011. The stock is down about 4% so far in 2014, as broader markets have slumped, which gives investors a cheaper entry point.