Natural gas prices have risen since Russia, the world’s second-largest natural gas producer, invaded Ukraine, exacerbating an already tight supply situation.
To make matters worse, Moscow has since cut gas exports to Europe to their lowest levels in years, sending European gas prices up nearly 10 times the previous average. war.
Using data from BP’s Statistical Assessment of World Energy, the above infographic provides additional context on the gas market by visualizing the world’s largest gas producers in 2021.
All-time high natural gas consumption in 2021
Natural gas is part of nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It is used for heating, cooking, electricity generation, as a fuel for motor vehicles, in fertilizers and in the production of plastics.
Fuels are naturally occurring hydrocarbons and non-renewable fossil fuels that are formed below the Earth’s surface. Although the Earth has huge amounts of natural gas, most of it is located in remote areas where fuel is needed. To facilitate transportation and reduce volume, natural gas is often converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG), in a process known as liquefaction.
Despite global efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, natural gas consumption hit a new all-time high in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2019 of 3. ,3%.
According to the International Energy Agency, demand is expected to decline slightly in 2022 and continue to decline through 2025.
|Area||Demand in 2021
(billion cubic meters – bcm)
|Forecast for 2022 (bcm)||Forecast for 2025 (bcm)|
|Central and South America||153||147||153|
|All over the world||4.103||4.083||4.243|
The Asia Pacific region and the industrial sector are expected to be the main drivers of global gas consumption in the coming years.
Top 10 countries producing the most natural gas
The world’s top 10 natural gas producers account for about 73% of total production.
|Class||Country||Output in 2021 (bcm)||Market share %|
|🌐 The whole world||4,036.9||100.0%|
Natural gas accounts for 32% of primary energy consumption in the United States, the world’s largest producer. Russia is the second largest producer and also has natural gas reserves of at least 37 trillion cubic meters, the most in the world.
China’s natural gas production has grown by 7.8% in 2021 and has nearly doubled since 2011. This sustained output growth is partly due to government policies encouraging the transition from coal to gas.
Europe’s natural gas crisis
Russia has significantly reduced the flow of natural gas to Europe since Western nations imposed sanctions on the Kremlin following its invasion of Ukraine. Before the war, the European Union (EU) imported about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.
The gas is transported using the Nord Stream system, a pair of offshore natural gas pipeline networks in Europe that run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
Russia’s energy giant Gazprom recently halved the amount of natural gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of capacity, blaming Western sanctions for delays in the pipeline. provide a required turbine. EU officials say that Russia is “weaponizing” its gas supplies.
Amid tensions, the EU outlined a plan to phase out Russia’s dependence on fossil fuels. Lithuania stopped importing Russian gas in early April. Estonia and Latvia’s imports also fell to zero earlier that month. Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Poland have all announced that they have no intention of extending their long-term contracts with Gazprom.
Despite these efforts, Europe remains dependent on Russia for natural gas supplies, at least in the short and medium term.