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The story behind the growth in gas consumption

Release date: 26 June 2018

As the World Gas Conference gets underway, we delve into the numbers from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy to get the story behind rocketing gas consumption in 2017

What it shows

Last year was a bumper year for natural gas with consumption (in billion cubic meters or bcm) increasing at its fastest rates since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis in 2010. 

 

What was behind this extra growth in consumption...

On the demand side, the key single driver was China where consumption increased by over 15%, accounting for around a third of the increase in global gas demand.

 

Why it matters

The surge in China’s gas consumption was led by environmental policies encouraging both industry and households to shift away from coal into cleaner fuels, particularly into natural gas.

 

Will it last?

Chinese gas looks set to continue to increase strongly this year but its seems unlikely that the extent of the surge in gas demand seen in China last year will be repeated in 2019 and beyond because of structural issues, such as pipeline and gas storage constraints, that are unlikely to be resolved in the near term.

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