In its latest survey, ‘The 2013 Natural Gas Year in Review’ Cedigaz notes that global natural gas activity showed mixed results last year.
In an unstable economic and geopolitical climate, world gas expansion moderated for the second consecutive year, according to Cedigaz’s first estimates for 2013.
Natural gas consumption only rose by 1.3%, down from an average growth of 2.8% per year in the previous decade. Natural gas still suffers in particular from severe competition with coal in the power generation sector.
Global growth in natural gas has been increasingly constrained by supply. In 2013, the growth in gas production slowed substantially to 0.8%, bringing the total volume to 3377 billion m3. The gas supply shortfall was attributable to the decline of mature and conventional fields, and an insufficient renewal of reserves. The lack of upstream investment is especially acute in emerging markets, due to a lack of a favourable regulatory and fiscal climate.
The moderation of natural gas supply and investment has also been increasingly driven by geopolitical challenges. Deterioration of security, internal conflicts and resulting damage to infrastructures have caused some production outages and supply disruptions in some countries
Geopolitical risks are having an ever-growing importance on the international gas scene, as demonstrated by the current Ukraine crisis.
Cedigaz also noted that the international LNG market is tightening. World LNG supply flattened in 2013 at a time of booming demand in Asia, and to a lesser extent, Latin America. In the face of political, regulatory and pricing uncertainties, investors are slow to sanction the projects necessary to ensure a global gas balance in this decade.
In summary, Cedigaz believes that 2013 presented the challenges faced in developing new supply to meet growing gas demand, especially in emerging markets.
Adapted from pres release by Callum O'Reilly
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