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Cedigaz: gas consumption up in 2016

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Cedigaz has reported that natural gas consumption grew by 1.6% in 2016 to 3528 billion m3.

This growth has been attributed to multiple structural and temporary factors.

Cedigaz highlighted that the recent developments in natural gas demand illustrate the influence of mixed drivers. A statement from the company read: “More affordable natural gas prices in 2016 have given a boost to natural gas and LNG demand in both industrialised (Europe) and emerging markets. In addition, colder than usual temperatures in the final months of 2016 in the main consuming markets had a strong upward effect on domestic gas sales. Reversely, moderate global economic activity, the decline in energy intensity, weak electricity demand in OECD markets and the strong expansion of renewables are still weakening gas demand growth.”

The international association for natural gas notes that if climate effects are set aside, the expansion of natural gas demand has remained below the historical average. In the first three quarters of 2016, natural gas demand increased at an estimated rate of only 0.5%, relative to the same period of the previous year.

The largest growth in gas demand was recorded in Europe (+6.1%), followed by the Middle East (+3%), India (+9.5%) and China (+8%).

Cedigaz’ statement continued: “Faced with low oil prices and harsh conditions in the upstream sector, global gas production was sluggish in 2016. Cedigaz provisional estimates show a relative stagnation of global natural gas supply in 2016, marking a break after a continued growth of 1.8%/year on average during the five previous years.”

International gas trade increased much faster than global gas demand, up 5.5% to 1094 billion m3, propelled by both pipeline trade (+ 5%) and LNG flows (+ 6.7%). This difference attests to the growing regional and local imbalances resulting from natural gas shortages in many markets, where production does not keep pace with domestic demand.

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