Natural gas consumption since 1950

Natural gas consumption

From natural gas marketed production to natural gas consumption by country

CEDIGAZ’s natural gas databases cover the different steps that lead from the marketed production to the apparent consumption for a given natural gas market. In CEDIGAZ’s annual country indicators database, the marketed production + imports – exports = apparent consumption (excluding variations in storage). This gives the analyst a global view of the natural gas production / consumption balance by country.

Imports and exports are further split between pipeline and LNG. For more details, CEDIGAZ subscribers can refer to the annual Natural Gas Trade Database that provide the bi-lateral flows between countries for both pipeline and LNG trade worldwide. For the analyst who needs to dive deeper into LNG trade, the LNG Monthly Trade Database provides LNG bi-lateral flows on a monthly basis with some import price information when available.

Natural gas consumption in the world in 2019 – Main trends

Global primary energy consumption grew slowly in 2019 (+ 1%), with natural gas and renewables accounting for the bulk of the growth, whereas coal consumption declined.

In the last five years, the share of natural gas in the world energy mix increased from 21% to 23%, to the detriment of coal, which lost 3 points to 26%.

In 2019, world actual gas consumption (including storage variations) increased 2% to 3937 bcm, a growth below the five-year average (+ 2.9%/year), displaying a strong deceleration compared to 2017 (+ 3.5%) and 2018 (+ 5%).

North America and Asia-Oceania concentrate almost half of world gas consumption.

Continuing the trend of recent years, the US and China were the two main growth centers, thanks to coal-to-gas switching.

Demand was also strong in the EU (+ 2.3%), stimulated by Germany, Spain and Italy.

In the last five years, consumption increased strongly in North America (US), Asia (China) and the Middle East (Iran, Saudi-Arabia), driven by the expansion of gas in power generation and industry.

It is also worth mentioning a recovery in the EU gas consumption, thanks to the environmental regulation and a regain of gas price competitiveness in the power sector, to the detriment of coal.

The top-10 consuming countries accounted for 62% of world gas consumption in 2019, this share has risen since 2010.