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Message: World Natural Gas Production: From 2007 to 2035

Today, most of the states encourage using natural gas rather than coal and oil to utilize in electricity generation, residential heating and industrial sectors in order to support the clean energy for lower green house gases. Natural gas as an environmental hydrocarbon than the oil and coal is expected to be increasingly consumed in the next decades.

According to the IEO2010, the natural gas consumption will increase from 108 tcf (trillion cubic feet) in 2007 to 150 tcf. The consumption of gas declined about 6 percent from 2008 to 2009 because of the global recession in the world. The demand will again increase after 2010 according to IEO2010.

Natural gas is a key energy source for residential heating, industry and electricity generation. The industrial sector accounted for approximately 40 percent of total world natural gas use in 2007, and it maintains its share through 2035. In the electric power sector, for example, natural gas is often an attractive choice for new generating plants because of its relative fuel efficiency, low emissions, quick construction timelines, and low capital costs.

Unconventional natural gases like tight gas, coal bed methane, shale gas and gas hydrates also increasingly become gas resources. In IEO 2010, the gas methane resources are not taken account but the recent studies reveal us the giant reserves of gas methane in the world expected to be exploited in the world.

World Natural Gas Consumption

Natural gas consumption in non-OECD will increase approximately three times as fast as consumption in OECD countries and the graph above reveals us this reality.

In North America, the US maintains its top consumption. However, the natural gas consumption in the US will decline until 2015 as a result of slow growth in electricity demand, completion of coal-fired plants currently under construction, and additions of new renewable capacity. After 2015, the demand will reach to its demand in 2007 by increase in demand of electricity. In Mexico and Canada the natural gas consumption will increase for industrial utilizes for instance for mining giant oil sand deposits in Canada.

In OECD Europe, the states encourage the natural gas for using in electricity generation and industrial sector. Because natural gas is less carbon-intensive than either coal or petroleum, it is a more environmentally attractive resource and thus is likely to remain an important fuel for Europe’s electric power sector development in the long term. The natural gas supply of Europe is a problem for the continent and the states search new ways to supply natural gas. (for more information about Europe natural gas supply, read the article)

In OECD Asia and Pacific countries, Japan, South Korea and Australian-New Zealand, the demand of natural gas will increase. However, in Japan the new nuclear energy projects will limit the demand of natural gas. In South Korea, the demand of gas for electricity generation is generally supplied from the LNG import. In Australia and New Zealand, the natural gas is utilized generally in industrial sector and the demand of gas in the industrial sector will increase until 2035.

In non-OECD Europe and Eurasia, natural gas is the primary energy source and the share in the energy consumption is about 50 percent. Russia, the second largest natural gas consumer after the US, is the biggest contributor for consumption in the region. In the IEO2010 Reference case, Russia’s natural gas consumption grows at a modest average rate of 0.2 percent per year from 2007 to 2035. As the country makes progress in liberalizing domestic natural gas prices to approach parity with international market values, increasing fuel costs for natural-gas-fired plants are likely to make them less competitive with other baseload generation.

The fastest increase in natural gas consumption will be expected in non-OECD Asia. Natural gas use in non-OECD Asia increases by an average of 3.5 percent annually over the projection period; from 10.5 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 27.5 trillion cubic feet in 2035. The giant economy like China and India and the developing countries in the region influence the increment. Both in China and India, natural gas constitutes the minor share of the energy demand.

In Middle East, natural gas demand increase by the new infrastructure, development of economic activities and domestic price subsidies. According to IEO 2010, the consumption of natural gas in Middle East will be double from 2007 to 2035. The share of natural gas consumption of industrial sector and electricity generations are 50 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Growth in industrial consumption is driven by the petrochemical industry, primarily in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, and UAE. Several countries in the region have opted to import natural gas in the form of LNG. Kuwait started importing LNG in 2009, and Dubai plans to begin in 2010.

IEO2010 Reference Case indicates, in Africa, the electric power sector drives the increase in natural gas demand over the projection period, as Africa’s total natural gas consumption increases from 3.1 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 6.8 trillion cubic feet in 2035.

In Central and South America, natural gas use increases at a rate that is second only to the rate of increase in nuclear energy use. Natural gas demand increases on average by 2.3 percent per year, from 4.6 trillion cubic feet in 2007 to 8.6 trillion cubic feet in 2035. In the continent, there is well-developed natural gas pipeline infrastructure however, the security of supply is not sufficient for this infrastructure.

According to the IEO 2010, the natural gas production will increased about 50 trillion cubic feet to meet the demand growth from 2007 to 2035. . Unconventional resources like tight gas, coal bed methane, shale gas and gas hydrate are expected to be much more important for natural gas supply in the next decades by improving technology. Non-OECD states will be the biggest contributors to increase the production in the world. The graph below reveals us the growth amount of natural gas production in each region.

OECD countries demand and supply amounts are less than in the non-OECD countries. We can say that the OECD countries attach importance to energy security and energy diversification so the states try to decrease the dependence of hydrocarbon and tend to renewable energy. Furthermore, developing of economy and industry in non-OECD states are fastest than OECD countries. Both of these influence the production and consumption of natural gas in OECD and non-OECD states.

In U.S, the largest producer in North America, the natural gas production is expected to increase from 2007 to 2035. The new directional drilling operations and hydraulic fracturing technologies are directly important in growth in production of natural gas. In Canada, the unconventional gas resources, tight gas, shale gas and coal bed methane, are important in growth in the production.

In OECD Europe, the natural gas production is expected to decline from 2007 to 2035. Norway, the second biggest natural gas exporter in the world, will be again an important supplier but the decline in gas production in North Sea will also influence total production in the continent.

In OECD Asia, Japan and South Korea have a proven giant gas hydrate reserves, the experts in these countries have studied on the production of hydrates for few years. In Australia and New Zealand, the gas production is expected to increase by the new discoveries from Carnarvan Basin by ConocoPhillips. Also in the Northwest Shelf are, there are reserves of coal bed methane. Beside that, Australia is expected to be an important region for natural gas trade in the world.

In Middle East, Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE are the largest gas producers and the productions are expected to increase from 2007 to 2035. Although Iraq is the region’s fastest-growing supplier of natural gas, at 11.6 percent per year over the projection, it is a relatively minor contributor to regional gas supplies. In 2035, Iraq’s natural gas production totals only 1.1 trillion cubic feet, or about 4 percent of the Middle East total. Saudi Arabia started gas production in the Persian Gulf and the new projects will continue in the next years. In Iran, the second largest gas producer in the world, the production is expected to increase but the 16 percent of gross produced gas is used for enhanced oil recovery and this amount is expected to increase in the future.

The largest gas producer in the world, Russia, increase its production in the next decades by the new expected projects in Shtokman, Bovonenkova and Chayandinskoye fields. In Central Asia, the most important producer Turkmenistan will develop its biggest field, Yolotan. Also contributing to Central Asia’s projected production growth is Azerbaijan, which has been planning to bring on line the second phase of natural gas production at its Shah Deniz field.

In Africa, the most important producers are Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and Libya. The gas production in Ecuador Guinea and Angola are expected to increase their gas production to improve their LNG trades.

In, non-OECD countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Papua New Guinea will be active in LNG trade in the region. In China, the state encourages to discover the coal bed methane, shale gas and tight gas in the country. The production is expected to increase from 2.4 tcf in 2007 to 5.6 tcf in 2035. The state of India wants to increase its gas production by contribution of shale gas and the other unconventional gas reserves. U.S and India will attend joint in the new unconventional projects according to the latest news.

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