The preference towards natural gas in global energy markets will give rise to new opportunities for economic growth and environmental efficiency. The demand for a cleaner burning natural gas will increase with the demand for global energy.
ExxonMobil states that natural gas will overtake coal for energy usage by the year 2025. The global energy market is now at a historic turning point in the evolution of energy markets. The right response today will shape the quality of life for generations to come.
The highest demand for natural gas is in the Asia Pacific where it is expected to grow by more than 50% in the next three decades. Natural gas can aid in satisfying needs such as electricity, chemicals and plastics while also lowering the negative impact on the environment.
The energy industry has made huge advances in the production and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It has also made advances in unconventional sources of natural gas such as coal bed methane, shale gas and tight sands by applying hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques.
North America has been the breaking ground for unconventional sources of natural gas till now. The challenge now is to apply these techniques outside North America to pacify the global energy needs.
Industries and governments can work together and develop a legal framework that encourages sustainable, safe and environmentally responsible development of natural resources. They can take the North American experience to gauge the right framework.
Government policies, disciplined investments, effective business partnerships will play a key role along with technological innovations and geologic conditions in determining the future success of widespread application of natural gas.
Natural gas policies should hold the industry accountable for excellence and operational integrity without sacrificing investment and innovation. When there are secure and encouraging policies around the world by the governments, the industries will respond by long term plans and sound partnerships that will only take the industry forward.