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Natural Gas Markets: Current Situation and Supply

natural gas suppliesNatural gas is one of the most important fossil fuels in the world – it is delivered worldwide to countries who need them through CNG transport ships. The ever rising demand has to be met nowadays, especially with the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, which is backed by most countries due to the latter’s invasion and seizure of the Crimean peninsula. Although the new Ukrainian government is standing down, the aspects surrounding natural gas will become volatile in the weeks to come.

Current world supply leaders

The top five leading suppliers of natural gas in the world the United States, Russia, Canada, Iran and Qatar. Note that #1 and #2 are not exactly in good terms right now, due to the Crimean crisis while #4 has always hated the west, while #3 and #5 are good friends with #1, with the latter hosting three American military bases. Here are some characteristics about USA, Russia and Canada.

  • United States – the country is one of the world’s biggest producers of natural gas, which is mostly consumed locally – 99% of the gas consumed is produced locally which is why the country’s gas industry is thriving. That said, most producing companies are privatized and not state-run corporations. As of today, there is a rising call to export natural gas to Eastern European countries, due to the Crimean Crisis.
  • Russia – this country supplies 30% of the European gas demands – one of the main reasons why most of these countries are not exactly keen on supporting Ukraine. It owns several pipelines running across Europe. The production and supply is monopolized by Gazprom, a private yet state controlled corporation that owns up to 94% of the Russian gas lines and production. This in turn allows the corporation to control roughly 30% of the world’s reserves.
  • Canada – one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world, this country is also rich in other fuel sources as well, including oil, petroleum and crude oil. This is mainly due to it containing numerous oil sands fields and rigs. Most of it is also domestically consumed, however, it is also exported to the United States.

Other top natural gas producers include China, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.

The current situation in Crimea is looking bleak, especially for Ukraine. Although a referendum for Crimea to join Russia is not recognized by most countries, it could spell trouble for Ukraine if Russia fully and formally occupies the region, mainly because it will give Russia possession of some of Ukraine’s gas fields.

Why is natural gas so important?

Aside from providing vast amounts of energy to power plants, cars, ships and even kitchen stoves, the fossil fuel is an integral part of each country’s economy. Compared to other fuel sources, it is a lot cleaner, cheaper and as energy efficient as the other fuel sources. Aside from which, it also poses less environmental concerns.

Though the current situation in Eastern Europe is volatile, natural gas and CNG transport ships will continue to power homes, vehicles and power plants worldwide.

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