Natural Gas a Boon

By Alam, S. M. | Economic Review, January 2011 | Go to article overview

Natural Gas a Boon


Alam, S. M., Economic Review


One of the major energy sources in the world today is natural gas. The popularity of natural gas as a source of energy has increased over the years leading to increase in its consumption. Consumption of natural gas is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.

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According to estimates of EIA (Energy Information Administration), global consumption of natural gas is expected to rise from 100 trillion cubic feet in 2004 to 163 trillion cubic feet in 2030. Consumption of natural gas is projected to grow at twice the rate in the non-OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries as compared to the OECD nations. Similarly, 90% of the increase in the production of natural gas is expected to come from the non-OECD countries. Among the energy sources, natural gas ranks second in terms of projected increase in consumption.

The maximum consumption of natural gas takes place in the industrial sector. It is also used as a fuel in the production of electric power. In 2004, 44% of the total consumption of natural gas was accounted for by the industrial sector. The projected growth in the consumption of natural gas in the industrial sector is an average of 1.9% annually between 2004 and 2030. Some of the major consumers of natural gas in the world are,

1) USA

2) Russia

3) UK

4) Germany

5) Iran

6) Canada

7) Japan.

The non-OECD countries are expected to contribute the bulk of the growth in the production of natural gas in coming years. Natural gas production in the non-OECD countries was estimated at 59 trillion cubic feet in 2004. This is projected to reach 119 trillion cubic feet by 2030. Russian and the middle-east are expected to make major contributions to the rise in the production of natural gas. Production of natural gas is expected to increase substantially from Africa and non-OECD Asia (excluding India and China). Natural gas production is expected to increase by 10 trillion cubic feet from 2004 levels from each of these two regions by the year 2030. Some of the major producers of natural gas in the world are

1) USA

2) Canada

3) Algeria

4) UK

5) Norway

6) Iran

7) Indonesia.

Natural gas reserves around the world have increased over the years. According to estimates by Oil & Gas Journal, the natural gas reserves at the beginning of 2007 were 6,183 trillion cubic feet. This was 71 trillion cubic feet higher than the reserves at the beginning of 2006. Major upward revisions to estimates of natural oil reserves took place in.. Gas which is associated with liquid petroleum is known as natural gas. Natural Gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. It is one of the cleanest, safest and most useful of all energy sources. It is colorless, shapeless, and odorless in its pure form. It is combustible and when burned and it gives off a great deal of energy. Natural gas is clean burning and emits lower levels of potentially harmful by-products into the atmosphere. We require energy constantly to heat our homes in winter, cook our food, and generate our electricity. It is this need for energy that has elevated natural gas to such a level of importance in our society, and in our lives. Natural gas is a combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. While natural gas is formed primarily of methane, it can also include ethane, propane, butane and pentane.

1)   Kazakhstan         -  35 trillion cubic feet
2)   Turkmenistan       -  29 trillion cubic feet
3)   China              -  27 trillion cubic feet
4)   USA                -  12 trillion cubic feet
5)   Netherlands        -  12 trillion cubic feet
6)   Trinidad & Tobago  -  7 trillion cubic feet
7)   Argentina          -  3 trillion cubic feet
8)   Nigeria            -  3 trillion cubic feet
9)   United Kingdom     -  2 trillion cubic feet
10)  Saudi Arabia       -  2 trillion cubic feet
11)  Norway             -  2 trillion cubic feet
12)  Italy              -  2 trillion cubic feet

Natural gas has many uses, residentially, commercially, and industrially.

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