Natural gas is a viable alternative to coal and often cheaper than oil for transportation

NRG Expert’s in-depth analysis of the global natural gas market confirms that natural gas is becoming an increasingly attractive fuel for power generation and transportation.

Here are some of the highlights from their latest market research report on the global natural gas market:

Natural gas on the rise – key findings

  • Low gas prices have made natural gas more attractive
  • Carbon reduction commitments are encouraging production
  • Natural gas is seen as a cleaner fuel than coal
  • Increasingly it is seen as a cheaper fuel than oil for transportation
  • Natural gas liquids (NGLs) are increasingly replacing oil products in the             production of petrochemicals, especially ethane for naphtha.

Further highlights from research:

Supplies of natural gas not constrained

Supplies of natural gas are not constrained, due to the glut of shale gas in the North American market. The cost of producing shale gas has been declining due to advances in hydraulic fracking. However, low gas prices have made some fields less profitable. While global natural gas prices are projected to rise, natural gas producers are looking for alternative sources of revenue as well, to ensure profitability, if natural gas prices for electricity and heat generation fluctuate.

Transportation fuel

Transportation fuel substitutes such as a drop-in fuel and compressed natural gas (CNG) are being used commercially. The drop-in fuel being produced by Sasol and Shell is a diesel substitute and thus restricted to diesel cars. CNG is also mainly used by vehicles that don’t travel long distances such as public buses or on predictable routes such as trucks.

The use of natural gas liquids (NGLs) for petrochemical production has grown

The use of natural gas liquids (NGLs) for petrochemical production has grown in major natural gas markets such as the US and the Middle East, especially Qatar. As natural gas liquids prices are relatively high, but comparatively lower than oil, it is a viable alternative to oil. In the US, chemical companies have announced plans to locate plants close to shale gas fields or natural gas pipelines.

Natural gas markets becoming more international

Traditionally the natural gas market has been regional, and to a large extent still is, with most natural gas transported via pipelines and sold via long-term oil-linked contracts. As newer markets have been created for natural gas and demand has grown in geographically isolated countries, the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) has grown considerably in order to transport natural gas over longer distances.

A more international market has been developing.
 Additional LNG trade routes are expected in the mid-to-long term as Canada and the US become net exporters of LNG gas. Other countries such as Australia are expected to become major exporters, with others losing their market share. Likewise net importing countries may increase domestic production of unconventional natural gas, reducing their import demand.

Overall it appears that demand is growing for natural gas

Natural gas market research

If you are working in this industry, NRG Expert’s report on the global natural gas market can provide an invaluable resource.

NRG Expert’s Global Natural Gas Market Report provides in depth data and statistics on:

  • Natural gas prices
  • Supply and future directions for the market.
  • Forms of natural gas for transportation and natural gas reserves
  • Potential of unconventional uses of natural gas and natural gas liquids
  • Coverage of the natural gas markets at a country-level and more

Click here to find out more:

>> Global Natural Gas Report – Market Research

>> Global Guide to Natural Gas Utilities – Market Research Report

>> Shale Gas Report – Market Research


Edgar van der Meer
NRG Expert

Toronto +1 (416) 840-5847
London +44 (0)20 8432 3059


Background information

NRG Expert is a London and Toronto based energy intelligence and market research publisher. NRG Expert provides up to date information, statistics and analysis on worldwide energy markets, including the global natural gas market and natural gas liquids.

Source: NRG Expert Global Natural Gas Report 2012 - Market Research