The production of natural gas worldwide steadily increased from 2.27 trillion cubic meters in 1998 to 3.54 trillion cubic meters in 2015. Global natural gas consumption has risen in tandem with increases in production, and in 2015 consumption amounted to nearly 3.47 trillion cubic meters.
The United States is the world's largest producer of natural gas, having produced some 768 billion cubic meters in 2015, and is also the world's largest consumer of natural gas, with a consumption of nearly 778 billion cubic meters in that year. While the U.S. is the world's largest producer and consumer of natural gas, it is interesting to note that their proved reserves are only the fifth largest in the world, with Iran having the largest. However, North America has the world's largest volume of recoverable shale gas, which is becoming an increasingly important source of natural gas in selected regions.