Annual survey 2016

Natural Gas in the World 2016 (Released - 5 DECember 2016)


EDITORIAL: CEDIGAZ' Natural Gas in the World 2016 report confirms the provisional estimates published early May, showing a  moderate natural gas demand growth in 2015 for the third year in a row. Global gas consumption grew by 1.5%, an improvement over 2015 when it stagnated, but still below the ten-year growth rate of +2.2% despite low gas prices. The global marketed natural gas production growth was again led by the United States (shale gas).

Natural Gas in the World is Cedigaz' annual survey of global natural gas markets, the 2016 edition covers year 2015.

Topics covered by Natural Gas in the World 2016 include :

  • proved natural gas reserves
  • gross production, reinjection, flaring and others losses
  • marketed production
  • unconventional gas developments in the world
  • the international gas trade (pipeline & LNG)
  • existing and planned underground gas storage facilities in the world
  • natural gas consumption
  • international natural gas prices

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In 2015, natural gas demand growth was still below the 10-year average despite lower gas prices

proved natural gas reserves DOWN 1.8%

Worldwide proven natural gas reserves declined by 1.8% to 196,229 bcm as of December 31,2015 (-3,671 bcm).

Reserves are highly concentrated, with the Middle East holding 40% of worldwide proven reserves, followed by the CIS at 34%. OPEC countries control 47% of worldwide reserves and three countries (Russia, Iran and Qatar) account for 55% of global reserves. Finally, the top 10 reserves holders own 79% of the world's total reserves. Over the last decade, worldwide proven natural gas reserves grew by 22 trillion cubic meters (+13%). The largest regional reserves addition were posted by the CIS (+12 tcm), followed by the Middle-East.

Production up 1.6% still below 10 y average Growth rate

Worldwide marketed natural gas production grew by 1.6% to 3493 bcm (+ 53 bcm) in 2015. This growth rate is slightly higher than that of the previous year (+ 1.3%) but remained slower than the past ten-year average (+ 2.2%/year). In 2015, world gross natural gas production increased at a lower rate than marketed production, up 1.3% to 4359 bcm. Quantities of reinjected gas decreased significantly by 3.6% in 2015, reaching 441 bcm. Natural gas reinjection accounted for 10% of gross production, compared with 12% in 2005. Up 2.1% from 2014, global flaring and venting amounted to 134 bcm in 2015, according to CEDIGAZ. The shrinkage surged 5.7% to 292 bcm in 2015, accounting for almost 7% of gross production. On the world level, the utilization rate of gross production is high, estimated at 87% in 2015.

unconventional gas Production still growing in North America

In 2015, global unconventional gas production reached 781 bcm, of which 90% was sourced from North America. Despite lower oil and gas prices and a decline in gas drilling, unconventional gas production continued to rise in North America, driven by US shale gas, attesting to a strong resilience of the gas industry and its ability to reduce costs.  Unconventional gas now accounts for 80% of US marketed gas production.

the international scene in 2015

The international gas scene is still characterized by several regional markets with specific characteristics.  Europe and Asia-Oceania are major consuming markets depending on extra-regional imports, while North America shifts toward self-sufficiency. In 2015, the CIS kept its leadership as the key exporting zone, controlling 25% of international exports. In the Middle East, Latin America and  Africa, production growth falls short of actual demand growth, constraining exports.

apparent consumption by geographic zone

In 2015, world apparent natural gas consumption (excluding storage variations) increased  at a moderate rate of 1.6%, similar to the past three-year average, but a slower growth as compared with the past decade (+ 2.2%/year). According to Cedigaz, natural gas kept a 21% share of the global energy mix. In 2015, North America bolstered its standing as the leading regional consuming market (28% of the world total), whereas Asia-Oceania's market share stagnated at 20%. Apparent consumption in Asia-Oceania stabilized in 2015, after slowing markedly in 2014. This evolution marked a rupture after three decades of buoyant expansion. Many parts of Asia have emerged as key areas of weakness.

evolution of international spot prices

In 2015, international gas prices declined sharply in direct or indirect relation to falling prices of other fossil fuels, in a market characterized by excess supply. The spread between NBP and Northeast Asian spot prices narrowed considerably as compared with the previous year and LNG arbitrage possibilities between Asia and Europe were altered.

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