Natural gas to rule the world of the future

The consumption of natural gas will be growing during the upcoming two decades. By 2035, the gas consumption will double in comparison with the current year. A report from the International Energy Agency said that the global demand on natural gas in 2035 will make up 5.1 trillion cubic meters vs. the current level of 1.8 trillion cubic meters. China will be the world's largest consumer of this fuel. The Celestial Empire will consume as much gas as the entire European Union does today.

The world extraction of gas will grow by 1.8 trillion cubic meters. For comparison, Russia produced 649 billion cubic of blue fuel in 2010, the Russian Statistics Agency said.

During the first four months of the current year, the production made up 239 billion, which is 0.7 percent as much as during the same period of 2010. According to Gazprom's plans for the current year, Russia is expected to produce 655 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Russia currently consumes as much natural gas as Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China and India do altogether. Russia exports only 30 percent of its gas. Norway, for instance, exports 96 percent of its gas.

According to BP, three years ago Russia's share in global gas output made up 19.6 percent. The company also said that Russia is the world leader in terms of the proven gas reserves. As of the end of 2008, they were evaluated at 43.3 trillion cubic meters vs. 6.7 trillion of the United States, which is the world's second largest producer of gas.

In addition to Russia, gas reserves of over 10 trillion cubic meters exist only in Iran and Qatar - 29.6 and 25.5 trillion cubic meters respectively.

The share of natural gas in the structure of used energy carriers in Russia makes up 55.2 percent. For comparison, this share makes up 40 percent in the UK, 38 percent in the Netherlands, 27 percent in Canada and 26 percent in the USA. In Norway, which is one of the world's largest producer and exporter, the share is much smaller - only nine percent. Norway mostly lives on hydroelectric engineering.

The authors of the above-mentioned report believe that the share of natural gas in the global energy balance will grow from 21 to 25 percent. In the beginning of this year, though, IEA specialists said that gas would make up only 22 percent among all other types of fuel by 2030.

Spokespeople for Exxon Mobile said in January of this year that the consumption of all types of energy will grow by as much as 35 percent in comparison with the level of 2005.

Exxon Mobile specialists said that natural gas would come second after oil. The Texas-based company believes that the demand on natural gas in the world will be growing much faster than the demand on oil and coal.

In 2010, Exxon mobile became the largest producer of natural gas in the United States. The same year, the company bought XTO Energy Inc. for $25 billion. The profile activity of the latter is the production of shale gas.

Other fuel producers gave similar forecasts too. Royal Dutch Shell said, for example, that next year its gas production would prevail over oil production for the first time in the history of the company.

If those forecast come true to life, it will be extremely hard, if not impossible for Russia to get rid of the energy dependence.

Anatoly Miranovsky.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov