A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirms that natural gas will be essential to the world’s energy supply in the future.
The annual World Energy Outlook report forecasts that production of natural gas could increase by 47 per cent by 2040. Most of this growth will come from developing unconventional sources such as coal seam gas and shale gas.
The IEA also highlights the major economic and environmental benefits of natural gas.
The report states that “there are good reasons to be upbeat about the future for natural gas: its relative abundance; its environmental advantages compared with other fossil fuels; the flexibility and adaptability that make it a valuable component of a gradually decarbonising electricity and energy system.”
APPEA Chief Executive, Malcolm Roberts, said “Australia has benefited hugely from rising demand for liquefied natural gas in our region,”
“More than $200 billion has been invested in LNG projects, creating thousands of jobs, export income and new revenue for the Commonwealth and State governments. Australia will be the world’s leading exporter of LNG by 2018.
“The IEA forecasts that steady demand growth over the next 25 years will lead to another major wave of investment in gas production.” Mr Roberts said.
“The competition for investment will be intense. If Australia wishes to seize a share of this investment, businesses must continue to lift industry productivity while governments should focus on removing unnecessary regulatory and other costs.”
Other key points from the report include Australia bring the prime mover, outside North America, for unconventional gas resources such as coal seam gas. World natural gas production will also not be derailed in the longer term, increasing by 47 per cent under a policy scenario put forward by the IEA to stand just below 5.2tcm in 2040. The report also said that Australia will see significant growth of natural gas production to 2020, as seven LNG facilities come online, but prospects for a second wave of projects have been dented by investment cutbacks.