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《Global Natural Gas Outlook 2050》 Extract

From: China Petroleum News Center // China Industrial Gas Industry Association

From: China Industrial Gas Industry Association Global Gas Outlook 2050Extract

1. Energy policy and release trends

Natural gas continuesly receives positive policy support in some countries as an alternative to pollution and carbon-intensive fuels and as a supplement to unstable renewable energy sources. However, this policy support faces challenges as governments set more ambitious targets for renewable energy and several lenders, including the World Bank, decided to stop financing natural gas projects. However, in the long term, natural gas projects will continue to run well under the support of national policies.

Suppliers’ positive policies will help to improve the long-term availability of natural gas. These policies can be achieved through deeper gas market reforms and stronger partnership connections, and will also help to face existing technological and economic challenges and thus support the development of gas production and infrastructure, and LNG infrastructure will particularly get benefits .

The report predicts that governmental emphasis on climate commitments and efforts by local governments and businesses parties will drive further reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. However, these policies will struggle to meet the energy needs of a growing global population and economy while meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.

2.    Energy and natural gas demand trends

Fossil fuels will continue to dominate the global energy mix until 2050, but their share is expected to decline from 81% in 2018 to 71% in 2050. Oil will remain as an important source of energy, but its share will fall to 26%, coal will plummet to 18% and natural gas will be the only source of growth, from 23% to 27% predictablely.

Natural gas, the fastest growing fossil fuel, is expected to increase by 1.3% per year to 5.966 trillion cubic meters by 2050, a huge increase driven by environmental concerns, air quality issues, coal-to-gas projects and economic development, and population growth.

Power generation and industry will be the main contributors to natural gas demand growth, contributing 66% of growth by 2050. Transportation is set to become a key area of natural gas, accounting for 16% of overall growth.

There will be an explosive demand for natural gas on the land transportation and the sea transportation sector, which is expected to grow by 5.4% per year. Increasingly stringent air pollution restrictions will shift the shipping industry away from a heavy reliance on fossil fuels. The demand for LNG from heavy trucks and compressed natural gas from cars has huge potential growth, which will be tapped mainly through policy measures to reduce harmful emissions.

3.    Natural gas supply

Natural gas is expected to increase by 1.3% per year by 2050, with North America leading the way, followed by Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East. The report predicts that the world's supply of natural gas will reach nearly 6 trillion cubic meters per year by 2050.

Global natural gas production will continue to diversify, with 13 countries expected to produce more than 100 BCM/year by 2050. The recent discovery of huge gas fields in Africa means the region has huge production potential, which could rise from the current 250 billion cubic metres a year to 660 billion cubic metres.

Unconventional natural gas production will increasingly become important, with its share expected to rise from 25% to 38%.

Gas production in THE GAS Exporting Countries Forum member countries will rise by 47% and to reach 42% of global production by 2050, or about 2.53 trillion cubic metres. The share of members of the Natural Gas Exporting Countries Forum will slightly decline by 2025, due to rising output from non-members, such as the U.S. and Australia.

4.    Natural gas trade and investment

Of the 3.9 trillion cubic meters of natural gas consumed globally in 2018, 1.16 trillion cubic meters were imported products. By 2050, the proportion of imported gas will roughly remain at this level in small fluctuations. Global gas trade will rise by 84.6% by 2050.

LNG infrastructure will develop faster than oil pipelines. LNG infrastructure requires less intergovernmental consultation and is less affected by geopolitical conflicts. Now there are 120 million tons of LNG reserves under construction and 260 million tons of LNG reserves to be put into production. LNG exports will account for 45.2% of all natural gas exports in 2030 and 50.3% in 2050.

In 2018, the global regasification capacity is 850 million tons/year, liquefaction capacity is 380 million tons/year. By 2050, regasification capacity is expected to rise to 1.27 billion tons per year. The most significant increases are expected to occur in the United States, Australia, Qatar, Russia and Mozambique.


An estimated $9.7 trillion will be spent on natural gas exploration and production. Unconventional gas is a big driver of global investment and will lead to higher infrastructure costs, most notably in Africa, Asia and Eurasia. In North America, unconventional gas will be the only source of natural gas. The vast majority of unconventional gas in the US is still to be discovered.


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