Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2022, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (9): 1701-1716.doi: 10.12082/dqxxkx.2022.220021

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Research on the Evolution of Global LNG Maritime Transportation Network and Trade Condition of China

MEI Qiang1,2(), HU Qinyou1,*(), LIU Xiliang3, ZHAO Ruina4, YANG Chun1, WANG Peng1,5, QI Yuling1, YANG Yang2, YUAN Qirui2   

  1. 1. Merchant Marine College, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
    2. Navigation College, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China
    3. School of Software Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China
    4. Offshore Oil Engineering Company Limited, Tianjin 300461, China
    5. The Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China
  • Received:2022-01-12 Revised:2022-07-02 Online:2022-09-25 Published:2022-11-25
  • Contact: HU Qinyou;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(71804059);National Natural Science Foundation of China(51879119);Major projects of Shanghai Municipal Commission of science and technology(18DZ1206300);Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province(2021J01821);Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province(2020J05143);Science and Technology Project of Education Department of Fujian Province(JAT200265);Innovation foundation(SSS002)


With the proposal of "carbon peak" and "carbon neutralization", Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has gradually garnered the attention of energy market as a clean and low-carbon energy. In this context, it is of great significance to analyze the evolution mode of the LNG maritime transport network, so as to master the dynamic of global energy pattern and the status of China's import trade. In this paper, the evolution trend of the global LNG maritime transport network from 2018 to 2020 is explored based on the ship trajectory data and complex network theory. Meanwhile, according to China's trade status, LNG import sources, distribution of main import ports, and the inflow status of the top three import ports in China are analyzed. The results show that: (1) From 2018 to 2020, the global LNG maritime transport network expanded with a “scale-free” characteristic. The "breadth" and "depth" of node connections in the backbone network are increasing, and there is a risk that global LNG trade will become monopolistic; (2) The countries along the "Belt and Road Initiative" actively participated in trade. The numbers of import ports and import voyages in Central and North America, South and Southeast Asia have significantly increased, and in particular, Sabetta and Bonny ranked the top eight globally according to their export volume; (3) The average shortest path length of the network is increasing year by year from 2018 to 2020, and the new mode of "transshipment port" business is gradually emerging. By 2020, 21 transshipment ports have participated in LNG trade, and the United States occupies the dominant position in global transshipment; (4) In recent three years, China's LNG import scale has developed rapidly, and the flow direction of the maritime transport network tends to be diversified. However, Australia is still the main LNG source for China. In terms of import volume, the ports of Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Yung'an rank the top three in China, and the pressure to reduce carbon emissions has prompted the economically developed regions to build terminals and increase imports.

Key words: carbon peak, COVID-19, complex network Analysis, LNG, the Belt and Road, clean energy, global, China