Ever growing importance of natural gas in the world energy balance is a formed stable tendency the action of which is strengthened by energy factors and ecological and economic factors.
The world gas industry develops rapidly. In the year 2000 2.347 bln m3 of gas were produced, and the proved reserves of natural gas amounted to 150.0 trln m3 as of January 1, 2001. One fourth of consumed primary energy resources is natural gas. The greatest level of consumption has been reached in North America (31%), then the CIS countries (27%) and countries of Europe (20%).
In the XXI century the volumes of international trade of gas will increase, new gas transportation trunk pipelines will be developed and gas will greatly contribute into globalization of the world economy.
The share of Russia is more than one third of proved gas reserves, one fourth of its world production and half of all supplies to the world market of gas.
At present natural gas holds a special place in the world energy structure - it belongs to a group of most widely used energy carriers (along with oil and solid fuel significantly outstripping the atomic energy and renewable sources of energy including hydropower) and it belongs to the most perspective resources of energy simultaneously.
In many cases all main vectors of criteria for choosing energy resources - maximum energetic, economic and ecological efficiency - point to natural gas.
Gas industry acquires a really world scale putting away the differences in geography and thus multiplying advantages of gas.
Speaking about the future of gas it is impossible to miss such an important moment as environmental protection. Being one of the most ecologically pure out of all widely spread now kinds of fuels gas is bound to be one of the central elements of our mutual struggle against harmful emissions into atmosphere, the latter resulting in sadly known "greenhouse effect".
Natural Gas in the Predicting of perspective energy development, determining of rational energy supply scales, World Energy preparing of structural, organizational and technical resolutions done in good time must adequately respond to the problems facing society at that period of time.
For the forthcoming 20–30 years the following problems can be mentioned:
demographic growth in developing countries, the specific weight of which in population of the globe will exceed 90%;
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global deterioration of environmental conditions (greenhouse effect, ozone holes, radioactive wastes);
aggravitation of the resource problem;increase of energy usage efficiency and appearance of new energy resources.
So, the task of creating energy with stable development must take into consideration all these different tendencies and must meet the requirements of energetic, economic and ecological effi