Currently, natural gas makes up 22% of the global energy mix, which is by no means insignificant. Both global production and consumption continue to grow, with prices remaining strong. On the production side, 2017 saw growth in production from many gas producing countries, led by Russia, whose production increased by approximately 8% year on year. North America, Australia, Europe and Africa also increased throughout 2017. It must be noted that the majority of net production growth in some of these regions came from unconventional gas production, namely shale.
Growth in production was matched by increased consumption. Average global gas consumption has grown 1.9% per year since 2010. In 2017 alone, gas consumption experienced its strongest year on year growth, with an increase of 3.7% from 2016. China led the growth in consumption. Consumption growth has been enabled by developments in small scale LNG and investments in technologies such as floating LNG (FLNG), floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and trucked LNG. Consumers have been keenly receptive to a more liquid LNG market, with spot trading and non-long-term sales attracting more participants to the market. Investments in liquefaction capacity, such as those taking place across North America and Africa, are indicative of the growth of industry, and increased market share for natural gas in turn.