Abstract:

The role of natural gas as a primary energy source globally is growing rapidly. Over the fiveyear period through 2005, the use of natural gas as primary feedstock for the manufacture of chemicals and petrochemicals is also expected to make some rapid advances. Resource availability, cost and environmental considerations all indicate strong reliance on natural gas in industrial applications and electricity generation. Natural gas is also replacing other traditional fuels in residential, commercial and transportation end uses as well. Therefore natural gas offers the unique opportunity of making a significant contribution to the global program to reduce reliance on high carbon content fuels and thus facilitate compliance to international agreements. The study will therefore be useful to marketing managers, strategic planners, forecasters, new product and business developers, decision makers in the chemical, petroleum and energy industries as well as government agencies, venture capitalists, and those involved in research and development work worldwide.

This paper assesses and evaluates the global demand and utilization of natural gas in the chemical and energy production markets as well as the near term options for its production to meet the forecasted demand. The global marketed supply of natural gas is presented and production of natural gas by region/country, by source (offshore and onshore) and the reserves/production ratio is also discussed. International aspects of natural gas demand are also considered in this paper including forecasts for the 2005-2025 time frame. The effects of foreign and U.S. investment and technology by country and/or region are quantified. Major overseas companies involved in the natural gas business in processing, delivery and other activities are also assessed.

INTRODUCTION

This paper begins with an overview of the natural gas industry. The overview describes the importance of the natural gas industry in relation to the overall global economy including a brief history and important indications for the industry.

The study then goes on to analyze the structure of the natural gas industry and competitive aspects including the driving forces of the industry. Important strategies for staying competitive and important shifts in the industry are assessed. Trade practices of the natural gas industry and the impact of natural gas on the petroleum and power industries are discussed.

This study also includes projections for natural gas production. The largest increase in production is projected for the Middle East—from 8.3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in 2001 to 18.8 Tcf in 2025. The smallest increase is projected for the industrialized countries—from 39.3 trillion cubic feet(Tcf) in 2001 to 46.8 Tcf in 2025, an average increase of 0.7 percent per year over the forecast period. Natural gas processing is increasingly becoming a major part of the world natural gas business, as more countries with associated gas look for more economic ways of monetising this resource. This study also presents data on global natural demand by type of processing including natural gas liquids. Some interesting figures of global natural gas reserves and global/regional natural gas consumption are also included in the end of this paper.

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