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LNG grows up

The global gas trade is casting off its past and becoming more like other internationally traded commodities

Not so long ago, the global liquefied natural gas business was made up of relatively few international oil companies, state oil companies or the entities of producer states on one side, and utility businesses in a comparatively small number of consumer states on the other. Producers knew their consumers, and the contractual arrangements between them tended to be relational in nature, with the commercial deals based largely on fidelity and "point-to-point" trading. There were occasional disputes, but these arrangements and this community appeared comfortable, or even cosy. Since the turn of the century, political, regulatory and commercial forces have progressively loosened and then pulled a

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