Global Gas Markets Supporting Growth and Sustainability

December 1, 2016


As the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas is well positioned to play a growing role in the world's future energy mix. When used in place of higher-emitting coal and oil, natural gas can help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and provide ac­ cess to affordable and clean energy in rich and poor countries alike



Gas markets around the world are increasingly interconnected, and low-cost floating regasification technology allows a growing number of countries to quickly tap into the global LNG trade. Thanks to an unprecedented wave of investment in new LNG export capacity, the rapid expansion of global natural gas trade is set to continue through 2020 and beyond. The global gas market has entered a period of abundance with lower gas prices across the main importing regions. To benefit from a buyer's market, prospective natural gas importers will have to invest in new infrastructure, including regasification terminals, pipelines, electricity networks and gas-fired power plants.



Natural gas is thriving mainly due to its intrinsic advantages as a rela­tively clean, versatile, and abundant fossil fuel. But further market liberalization, greater gas-on-gas competition and a strong carbon price signal could accelerate gas' growing share in the future energy mix and provide public policy benefits. A relatively high and predict­ able carbon price would facilitate longer-term substitution of coal in particular. But even where carbon pricing exists, price levels are often too low to influence fuel choice or investment decisions.