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Liquefied natural gas (LNG)

Japan is the world's largest single market for LNG, importing over 83mt in FY2011. Shell’s involvement in delivering LNG to Japan started when Brunei LNG delivered its first cargo to Japan in December 1972. Since then, we have been working together with Japanese companies in the natural gas business for more than 40 years.

As of date, Japan has imported over 1500 million tons of LNG, of which more than 40% was supplied through Shell-participated joint ventures. Japan therefore is a key market for Shell, and the rapidly growing LNG business offers many challenges where commerciality, optionality, and customer focus are the key drivers.

Shell Japan Ltd.'s LNG Division offers assistance in communications between LNG buyers and other stakeholders both in and outside Japan. We also provide periodic market advice to Shell's global businesses with regard to developments in Japan's energy industry and governmental policy. The promotion of natural gas as a clean and efficient fuel is also one of our principal business priorities in Japan.

New applications for Gas-to-Liquids (GTL)

In 1993, Shell constructed the world’s first commercial GTL plant in Malaysia and started to market the product primarily to niche markets. GTL is being imported into Japan for use as cleaning solvents and alternative fuel for oil heaters. Pearl GTL in Qatar, which is ten times the size of the plant in Malaysia, commenced operations in 2011, and the construction of other new GTL plants is now under consideration. Shell Japan Ltd. is considering new applications for GTL in general-purpose product markets, including alternative fuel for diesel buses and agricultural applications.

Developing new energy technologies

It is possible that the usage of hydrocarbons could be regulated in the future in order to limit the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide to a certain level. To prepare for such situations, Shell is conducting several pilot projects towards the development of new energy technologies that will supplement hydrocarbons. Consideration of a pilot project, in cooperation with local partners, has also kicked off in Japan. New energies considered include hydrogen, geothermal, solar thermal and offshore wind energy.