Two important factors in the expected future growth of global gas markets are (1) the move by many industrialized countries from coal-fired electricity generation to natural gas in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and (2) the industrialization of the heavily populated Asian countries of India and China. This paper surveys discovered or known gas in stranded gas accumulations and provides estimates of the cost of developing and producing stranded gas in selected countries likely to supply the growing European import market via pipeline and/or liquefied natural gas. Gas supplies to this market can be significantly augmented by the development of stranded gas. Globally, the distribution of stranded gas is uneven, with a handful of countries endowed with a disproportionate share of the gas. The cost component of the paper focuses on stranded conventional gas accumulations in Africa, and South America that have at least 50 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas. The results of the analysis are presented as resource cost quantity functions. The delivered cost of the identified gas is found to depend critically on the natural gas liquids content, the prevailing prices of liquids, size of gas accumulation, and its location. The implications of the analysis are discussed in terms of the projected increase in gas import demands of European gas markets. Finally the diversity of the geographical distribution of stranded gas provides one obstacle to the exertion of market power by the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and reduces the probability of the formation of a gas-producing country cartel similar to OPEC.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.