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IEA: Global natural gas demand to rise 17% by 2017


Men with Cabot Oil and Gas work on a natural gas valve at a hydraulic fracturing site in South Montrose, Pa., on Jan. 18, 2012.


Spencer Platt

Global consumption of natural gas is expected to rise 17 percent over the next five years as China’s demand more than doubles and US needs increase, the International Energy Agency said today.

“Asia will be by far the fastest growing region, driven primarily by China, which will emerge as the third-largest gas user by 2013,” the Paris-based IEA said in its Medium-Term Gas Market Report 2012 cited by Bloomberg.

“Europe looks for a floor and Americas for a ceiling.”

According to Agence France-Presse, worldwide demand is likely to reach 3.937 trillion cubic meters by 2017, up 576 billion from last year.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is expected to consume 273 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2017, compared with 130 billion in 2011. That represents an annual growth rate of 13 percent, the Associated Press reported.

The United States’ natural gas needs will expand by 13 percent to 779 billion cubic meters by 2017, while Europe’s will rise 7.9 percent to 561 billion – less than the 570 billion it consumed in 2010.

Growing demand for natural gas could help curb the use of carbon-emitting coal, the IEA said.

"On the long-term, our world energy outlook sees gas demand growing faster than any other fossil fuel to 2035, and it's likely to overtake coal as the second most popular fuel and can provide a bridge, a bridge to a clean-energy future," IEA director general Maria van der Hoeven was quoted by AFP as saying.

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