Cedigaz’s ‘Natural Gas in the World 2016’ report has confirmed its provisional estimates published in early May 2016, which showed a moderate natural gas demand growth in 2015 for the third year in a row.
Global gas demand grew by 1.6%, still below the ten-year growth rate of +2.2% despite low gas prices. The US once again led the global marketed natural gas production growth.
Natural gas expansion was constrained by some demand side factors, which have offset the impact of low gas prices: intense competition with cheaper coal (and oil in China) in both industrialised and emerging markets, the development of nuclear and renewables, as well as increased energy efficiency, weak power generation growth and the sluggish economic context.
World gross natural gas production increased at a rate of 1.3% to 4359 billion m3 in 2015, but quantities of reinjected gas decreased substantially, down 3.6% to 441 billion m3.
Global flaring was estimated to be up 2.1% to 134 billion m3.
Production losses related to both processing and field operations climbed 5.7% to 292 billion m3.
According to Cedigaz’s revised statistics, world actual gas consumption increased by 1.5% in 2015, marking a recovery after a relative stagnation (+ 0.3%) recorded in 2014. In Asia-Oceania, natural gas consumption was rather stable, representing an historic rupture after three decades of buoyant expansion.
In a context of rising demand in Europe, by far the leading import zone, international gas trade (including LNG re-exports) increased by 3.1%, fuelled by LNG flows (+ 2.4%) and pipeline trade (+ 3.4%).Total net LNG imports regained momentum in 2015, up 2.8% to 323 billion m3. Lower demand in Asia was compensated by recent emerging markets, while Europe became a market of last resort in a context of healthy supply. Due to the LNG glut in Asia, the spread between NBP and Northeast Asian spot prices narrowed considerably as compared with 2014, limiting LNG arbitrage possibilities between Asia and Europe.
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