Natural gas industry worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Natural gas is a type of fossil fuel that mainly consists of methane gas and other flammable hydrocarbons. It is formed over the span of millions of years when plant and animal remains, as well as sand and silt have built up under heat and pressure.
This process forms the various types of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, in addition to natural gas. In the case of natural gas, the byproduct of this process has moved into large cracks and spaces within rock layers and can also be found in tiny pores within sedimentary rock formations (the latter of which is known as shale gas). Accordingly, this globally important source of energy comprised of hydrogen and carbon compounds is found in reservoirs underneath the Earth's surface, with the greatest proved reserves found in the Middle East.

The production of natural gas worldwide steadily increased from 2.27 trillion cubic meters in 1998 to 3.87 trillion cubic meters in 2018. Global natural gas consumption has risen in tandem with increases in production, and in 2018 amounted to nearly 3.85 trillion cubic meters.

The United States is the world's largest producer of natural gas, having produced some 761.1 billion cubic meters in 2017, and is also the world's largest consumer of natural gas, with a consumption of 767 billion cubic meters in that year. However, despite being the greatest producer, it is interesting to note that proved reserves in the U.S. are only the fifth largest in the world, with Russia having the largest.

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Global natural gas industry

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