Gas in the world > Forecasts
The forecasts for natural gas demand remain excellent, even though growth may prove less intense than expected a few years back, due to renewable energy’s enhanced prominence in electricity generation.

On 5 May 2010, during a workshop, Eurogas presented its study on natural gas demand for the EU during the period up until 2030. This study, drawn up in 2009, was referenced in the previous Annual Report. This reminds us that forecasts predicted demand to grow between 14 and 23% by 2030, with respect to 2007.

From the study drawn up by the United States Government Agency EIA, International Energy Outlook 2010, in addition to the overall energy forecasts mentioned in the corresponding section, we hereby highlight the following, in terms of natural gas:

  • According to EIA, the worldwide production of non-conventional gas totalled 5.9trillioncubic feet in 2008, roughly 167 bcm. For 2015, forecasts predict a production of 243 bcm; 275 bcm in 2020, 340 bcm in 2025, 467 bcm in 2030 and 620 bcm in 2035.
  • Natural gas’s share of the total energy consumption equalled 22.6% (according to EIA) in 2007. This will change to 23.8% in 2015, 23.9% in 2020, 23.5% in 2025, 22.7% in 2030 and 21.9% in 2035, according to the Reference Case at all times.
  • The OECD countries’ share of the worldwide natural gas consumption will drop from 49.5% in 2007 to 42.1% in 2020, and 41.2% in 2030. Both the OECD and the rest of the world have exemplified positive growth rates: 0.6% annually among OECD countries and 1.9% among all remaining countries. The world’s cumulative annual rate would come to 1.3%.
  • Worldwide natural gas consumption will increase by 44% according to the Reference Case. The industrial sector currently consumes more natural gas than any other “end use” sector, and projections suggest it will continue to be the largest consumer until 2035, when 39% of the worldwide natural gas supply will be used for industrial purposes. All forecasts indicate electricity generation as another of natural gas’s important uses. Its share of the total gas consumption will increase from 33% in 2007 to 36% in 2035.

The AIE, in its already reviewed World Energy Outlook 2010, mentions the following with respect to natural gas:

  • Natural gas will play a central role in covering the world’s energy needs over the analysed period. It is the only fossil fuel whose demand will rise between now and 2035 in all scenarios studied by the AIE. In the New Policies Scenario, the demand for natural gas will increase by 44% until 2035, at a rate of 1.4%. In China, the annual cumulative demand will come to 6%.
  • Roughly 35% of the additional supply during this period will be covered by non-conventional gas.
  • Natural gas’s current supply excess could last longer than predicted, reaching a maximum level of 200 bcm (LNG) in 2011.
  • The analysed scenario predicts worldwide trade to expand by 80%, half of which will come in the form of LNG.
  • Coal and natural gas will continue to dominate electricity generation. However, their joint share will fall from 68% in 2008 to 55% in 2035, due to the expansion of renewable and nuclear energy.
Annual Report 2010
Annual Report 2.010: Sedigas - The Spanish Gas Association