Owners of ships carrying liquefied natural gas
(LNG) will have to accept spiralling salaries because their fleets are expanding faster than available crews, according to the Oslo-based shipbroker Lorentzen & Stemoco AS. , Bloomburg reported. The global fleet will reach 354 ships by 2010, from 207 now, requiring another 4,000 crew members, according to the report. "As shipowners attempt to lure officers away from their present employers, spiralling wages are definitely on the LNG shipping agenda," said the recent report. Global trade in LNG expanded 7.8 per cent last year. Global growth in demand is expected to be about 10 per cent a year through 2020, according to Royal Dutch Shell plc (RYDAF)
. Lorentzen & Stemoco estimates it takes as long as 12 years for a shipping cadet to rise to the position of master.