After the nuclear accident of Fukushima in 2011, Japan became the largest liquefied natural gas importer in the world. Japan consumes almost 90 out of the 240 million tons of the world LNG production. See “The great LNG race: who will be the winner?”, October 2015. The top 5 largest LNG exporters are Qatar, Malaysia, Australia, Nigeria and Indonesia. See “Major exporting countries of LNG in 2014”.
Very soon Australia is expected to become the largest LNG exporter in the world. I must also say that the list of the largest exporters is different than the list with the largest producers, because oil and gas can be also consumed domestically instead of being exported i.e. US.
At the following map you can see that Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia are in the same neighborhood, and they compete in the LNG market. South Korea and Taiwan are also major LNG importers, because like Japan they do not have access to natural gas pipelines.
Map of Qatar, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia
Qatar, Indonesia, Nigeria and Malaysia are all Muslim countries, and they are fighting each other about their exports. That’s why there is so much terrorism in Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria. Indonesia is actually the largest Muslim country in the world, with 250 million inhabitants. Moreover Indonesia and Malaysia are neighboring countries and they also have disputes about their borders and their exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
Indonesia and Philippines were the main reason the Japanese attacked the Americans at the Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The Japanese invaded the French Indochina in September 1940, and the relations between Japan and the United States further deteriorated. The French Indochina is today’s Vietnam, Cambodia and LAOS, and at the time was a French colony. But France was invaded by the Nazis in May 1940, and the Japanese grabbed the chance to invade the French Indochina three months later.
Map of French Indochina
The United States adopted various actions against Japan, and in August 1941 the Americans banned oil exports to Japan. The United States were the main oil supplier of the Japanese, and the Japanese decided to invade Indonesia, which was one of the richest countries in oil reserves. At the time Indonesia was even more important than she is today, because many of today’s oil fields had not been discovered yet. At the time Indonesia was a Dutch colony, but the Netherlands had also been invaded by the Nazis in May 1940, and could not protect its colony. Before invading Indonesia in March 1942, the Japanese destroyed in December 1941 the American Navy of the Pacific Ocean at Pearl Harbor. The reason was that the Japanese were sure that the Americans would retaliate if Japan invaded Indonesia and the Philippines.
I must also say that the Australians have a great advantage, and that is the very small Muslim population of Australia. That makes it very difficult for the Muslim countries that export natural gas to use Islamist terrorist networks in Australia. Australia is also very tough against illegal immigrants.
“Major exporting countries of LNG in 2014 (in billion cubic meters)”
“THE GREAT LNG RACE: WHO WILL BE THE WINNER?”, October 2015