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Gas industry in Europe and in the world

Medium term horizon

Europe remains the only region where no significant increase in gas consumption is expected in the near future. However, in the next five years, the demand for gas intended for power production might continue to grow in the EU. Especially if favourable price conditions in some European markets are maintained, including growing prices for emission credits, power plants combusting natural gas may continue to dislodge coal sources. However, in the electricity industry the growth of gas consumption is strongly dependent on the gas price and its ratio to coal prices in particular. Given the revived growth of prices for emission credits which makes production from coal more and more expensive, we may expect a slight increase in gas consumption in the electricity sector within this time frame. Later on, after 2022, according to the IEA outlook, gas consumption in the EU should start stagnating. The share of EU member states in gas consumption in 2017 is shown in the following figure.


Long term horizon

With further pressure for decarbonization of the energy industry, gas consumption in the EU should start decreasing after the year 2035. On the contrary, continuous growth is expected on the global level throughout the period under investigation. In the year 2040, the global demand should reach 5.3 tcm of gas. Developing countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East will remain the main drivers of increasing demand for gas in the world (up to 80% of the global consumption growth). As regards utilization of natural gas, it will mainly be demand from the industrial sector and power production that will contribute to the growth curve of consumption. In terms of natural gas production, a significant increase in the share of unconventional gas (shale gas, coal bed methane and tight gas) is expected, which should account for up to 30% of the total gas extraction. In addition to natural gas coming from fossil fuel extraction, natural gas featuring similar characteristics and produced by methanation of hydrogen produced by electrolysis with the use of energy from renewable resources (synthetic methane) or biogas treatment (biomethane) will be on the rise in Europe.

Gas consumption share by EU member states in 2017

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