Global natural gas consumption rose by just 1.3% in 2013, down from an average of 2.8%/year in the previous decade, according to a recent report from Cedigaz, the international natural gas association based near Paris. Production growth also slowed, to 0.8%, with the association ascribing the change to supply constraints in a tense geopolitical environment.
Increased pipeline trade led international natural gas trade 2.1% higher year-on-year, overcoming a stagnant, supply-restricted LNG market, Cedigaz said. Interregional pipeline gas exports were strongest from the CIS to Europe (+15%) and China (+36%). Global trade totaled 1,048 billion cu m (bcm).
Cedigaz’s report—2013 Natural Gas Year in Review—said the commodity still suffers from severe competition with coal in the power generation sector, with actual European Union consumption down 1.9% to 460 bcm, the lowest level in 15 years. In the US, rising year-on-year gas prices made coal more competitive and penalized gas consumption in power generation, causing it to fall 10.5%.
Gas production totaled 3,377 bcm, with Cedigaz citing declining mature and conventional fields combined with insufficient reserve replacement in describing the slow rate of growth. It said the lack of upstream investment was particularly acute in emerging markets due to their relatively unfavorable regulatory and fiscal climates.
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