IEA (2019), "Natural Gas Information 2019", IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/reports/natural-gas-information-2019
Natural Gas Information is a detailed reference work on gas supply and demand covering OECD countries and the rest of the world. The publication contains essential information on LNG and pipeline trade, gas reserves, storage capacity and prices. The main part of the book concentrates on OECD countries, showing a detailed supply and demand balance for each country and for the three OECD regions: the Americas, Asia-Oceania, and Europe, as well as a breakdown of gas consumption by end user. Import and export data are reported by source and destination. Natural Gas Information is one of a series of annual IEA statistical publications on major energy sources; other reports are Coal Information, Electricity Information, Oil Information and Renewables Information.
In 2018, global natural gas production hit a new record of 3937 Billion cubic metres, a 4.0% increase compared to 2017.
In fact, natural gas production has been rising since the economic crisis of 2009 with a compound annual growth rate of 2.8%.
Within the OECD, the United States had the greatest relative increase in production at 11.5%.
Australia and Canada continue to experience growth, with Canada remaining the 4th largest global producer.
Meanwhile, production in the Netherlands is gradually declining due to commitments to reduce the exploitation of the Groningen field, and after three years of continued increase, Norway's production declined by 2.1% in 2018.
In 2018, global demand for natural gas increased by 4.9% compared to 2017, rising to 3922 Billion cubic metres. This was the ninth consecutive year of increase.
OECD countries saw an increase in demand of 4.5%, though this came entirely from the OECD Americas driven by the United States and Canada. Demand for natural gas also increased by 5.3% in non-OECD countries.
The rest of the world has experienced a strong average annual growth rate of natural gas consumption at 7.7% over the last 20 years. This trend has been even stronger in China, where the average increse rate was 13.3% per year over the same period.
Global gas trade passed the 1.2 Tcm threshold in 2018, with growth mostly accounted for by the increase in global LNG trade which rose by 7.3%. China has emerged as a clear driver of import growth, increasing by 19.8 Bcm in 2018.
Putting an end to six consecutive years of decrease, Qatar resumed export growth to the OECD area, up 8.0%. Qatar remains the first country of origin of imports for OECD countries, but Australian exports are increasing rapidly, reaching a level only about 5.4 Bcm less than Qatar, with 50.7 Bcm supplied to OECD countries.
The overall increase of LNG imports in non-OECD countries was largely driven by a handful of countries, including China, Pakistan, and India. Conversely, Africa and the Middle East experienced a decrease. While it resumed gas exports, Egypt's LNG imports decreased by 4.2 Bcm.
In 2018, non-OECD regions took on a larger share in overall LNG trade, accounting for 40.0% of total LNG imports.
LNG prices continued to converge, with the prices of LNG imports for the United States, the European Union, Japan and Korea all increasing in 2018.
These price trends are a reflection of the relative positions of different regions in the LNG market, with the United States being a net exporter of natural gas for the third consecutive year.