The Mena region’s LNG imports jumped by 68% to 16.45mn tons in 2016 making the region a key player in global LNG trade as an importer as well as an exporter. This rapidly growing share comes amid a global market dominated by ample supplies and weak demand growth from key traditional East Asian buyers.

The region’s five LNG importing countries, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE and Israel, remain relatively small in absolute terms and when compared to global trade of 265mn tons in...