Connect with us

Energy Shift

Which Countries Produce the Most Natural Gas?

Published

on

The Largest Producers of Natural Gas

Which Countries Produce the Most Natural Gas?

Natural gas prices have risen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, exacerbating an already tight supply situation.

Making matters worse, Moscow has since cut gas exports to Europe to multi-year lows, sending Europe’s gas price to almost 10 times its pre-war average.

Using data from BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, the above infographic provides further context on the gas market by visualizing the world’s largest gas producers in 2021.

Natural Gas Consumption at All-Time High in 2021

Natural gas is part of nearly every aspect of our daily lives. It is used for heating, cooking, electricity generation, as fuel for motor vehicles, in fertilizers, and in the manufacture of plastics.

The fuel is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas and non-renewable fossil fuel that forms below the Earth’s surface. Although the Earth has enormous quantities of natural gas, much of it is in areas far from where the fuel is needed. To facilitate transport and reduce volume, natural gas is frequently converted into liquefied natural gas (LNG), in a process called liquefaction.

Despite global efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, natural gas consumption reached a new all-time high in 2021, surpassing the previous record set in 2019 by 3.3%.

Demand is expected to decline slightly in 2022 and remain subdued up to 2025, according to the International Energy Agency.

Region2021 Demand in Billion Cubic Meters (bcm)2022P (bcm)2025P (bcm)
Africa169172188
Asia Pacific895907990
Central and South America153147153
Eurasia634619632
Europe 604549536
Middle East564582627
North America1,0841,1081,116
World 4,1034,0834,243

The Asia Pacific region and the industrial sector are expected to be the main drivers of global gas consumption in the coming years

Natural Gas Production, by Country

The world’s top 10 producers of natural gas account for about 73% of total production.

RankCountry2021 Production (bcm)Share %
#1🇺🇸 United States934.223.1%
#2🇷🇺 Russia701.717.4%
#3🇮🇷 Iran 256.76.4%
#4🇨🇳 China209.25.2%
#5🇶🇦 Qatar 177.04.4%
#6🇨🇦 Canada172.34.3%
#7🇦🇺 Australia 147.23.6%
#8🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia 117.32.9%
#9🇳🇴 Norway114.32.8%
#10🇩🇿 Algeria100.82.5%
#12🇹🇲 Turkmenistan79.32.0%
#13🇲🇾 Malaysia 74.21.8%
#14🇪🇬 Egypt 67.81.7%
#15🇮🇩 Indonesia 59.31.5%
#16🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates57.01.4%
#17🇺🇿 Uzbekistan50.91.3%
#18🇳🇬 Nigeria 45.91.1%
🌐 Rest of the World671.816.6%
🌐 Global Total4,036.9100.0%

Natural gas accounts for 32% of primary energy consumption in the United States, the world’s largest producer. Russia is the second biggest producer, and also has at least 37 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, the most in the world.

China’s natural gas production grew by 7.8% in 2021, and it has nearly doubled since 2011. This sustained growth in production is partly down to government policies incentivizing coal-to-gas switching.

Europe’s Natural Gas Crisis

Russia has significantly reduced flows of natural gas to Europe since Western nations imposed sanctions on the Kremlin following the invasion of Ukraine. Before the war, the European Union (EU) imported about 40% of its natural gas from Russia.

The gas is transported by the Nord Stream system, a pair of offshore natural gas pipeline networks in Europe that run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Russian energy giant Gazprom recently halved the amount of natural gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20% of capacity, blaming Western sanctions for a delay in the delivery in a necessary turbine. EU officials say Russia is “weaponizing” its gas supply.

Amid tensions, the EU bloc outlined a plan to phase out dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Lithuania ceased Russian gas imports at the beginning of April. Estonia’s and Latvia’s imports also dropped to zero at the start of that month. Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Poland all announced that they do not intend to renew long-term contracts with Gazprom.

Despite these efforts, Europe remains dependent on Russia for its supply of natural gas, at least in the short and medium term.

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist
Click for Comments

Electrification

Where are Clean Energy Technologies Manufactured?

As the market for low-emission solutions expands, China dominates the production of clean energy technologies and their components.

Published

on

Visualizing Where Clean Energy Technologies Are Manufactured

When looking at where clean energy technologies and their components are made, one thing is very clear: China dominates the industry.

The country, along with the rest of the Asia Pacific region, accounts for approximately 75% of global manufacturing capacity across seven clean energy technologies.

Based on the IEA’s 2023 Energy Technology Perspectives report, the visualization above breaks down global manufacturing capacity by region for mass-manufactured clean energy technologies, including onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, electric vehicles (EVs), fuel cell trucks, heat pumps, and electrolyzers.

The State of Global Manufacturing Capacity

Manufacturing capacity refers to the maximum amount of goods or products a facility can produce within a specific period. It is determined by several factors, including:

  • The size of the manufacturing facility
  • The number of machines or production lines available
  • The skill level of the workforce
  • The availability of raw materials

According to the IEA, the global manufacturing capacity for clean energy technologies may periodically exceed short-term production needs. Currently this is true especially for EV batteries, fuel cell trucks, and electrolyzers. For example, while only 900 fuel cell trucks were sold globally in 2021, the aggregate self-reported capacity by manufacturers was 14,000 trucks.

With that said, there still needs to be a significant increase in manufacturing capacity in the coming decades if demand aligns with the IEA’s 2050 net-zero emissions scenario. Such developments require investments in new equipment and technology, developing the clean energy workforce, access to raw and refined materials, and optimizing production processes to improve efficiency.

What Gives China the Advantage?

Of the above clean energy technologies and their components, China averages 65% of global manufacturing capacity. For certain components, like solar PV wafers, this percentage is as high as 96%.

Here’s a breakdown of China’s manufacturing capacity per clean energy technology.

Technology China’s share of global manufacturing capacity, 2021
Wind (Offshore)70%
Wind (Onshore) 59%
Solar PV Systems85%
Electric Vehicles71%
Fuel Cell Trucks 47%
Heat Pumps39%
Electrolyzers41%

So, what gives China this advantage in the clean energy technology sector? According to the IEA report, the answer lies in a combination of factors:

The mixture of these factors has allowed China to capture a significant share of the global market for clean technologies while driving down the cost of clean energy worldwide.

As the market for low-emission solutions expands, China’s dominance in the sector will likely continue in the coming years and have notable implications for the global energy and emission landscape.

Continue Reading

Energy Shift

The ESG Challenges for Transition Metals

Can energy transition metals markets ramp up production to satisfy demand while meeting ever-more stringent ESG requirements?

Published

on

The ESG Challenges for Transition Metals

An accelerated energy transition is needed to respond to climate change.

According to the Paris Agreement, 196 countries have already committed to limiting global warming to below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C. However, changing the energy system after over a century of burning fossil fuels comes with challenges.

In the above graphic from our sponsor Wood Mackenzie, we discuss the challenges that come with the increasing demand for transition metals.

Building Blocks of a Decarbonized World

Mined commodities like lithium, cobalt, graphite and rare earths are critical to producing electric vehicles (EVs), wind turbines, and other technologies necessary to burn fewer fossil fuels and reduce overall carbon emissions.

EVs, for example, can have up to six times more minerals than a combustion vehicle.

As a result, the extraction and refining of these metals will need to be expedited to limit the rise of global temperatures.

Here’s the outlook for different metals under Wood Mackenzie’s Accelerated Energy Transition (AET) scenario, in which the world is on course to limit the rise in global temperatures since pre-industrial times to 1.5°C by the end of this century.

MetalDemand Outlook (%) 2025203020352040
Lithium +260%+520%+780%+940%
Cobalt +170%+210%+240%+270%
Graphite+320%+660%+940%+1100%
Neodymium+170%+210%+240%+260%
Dysprosium+120%+160%+180%+200%

Graphite demand is expected to soar 1,100% by 2040, as demand for lithium is expected to jump 940% over this time.

A Challenge to Satisfy the Demand for Lithium

Lithium-ion batteries are indispensable for transport electrification and are also commonly used in cell phones, laptop computers, cordless power tools, and other devices.

Lithium demand in an AET scenario is estimated to reach 6.7 million tons by 2050, nine times more than 2022 levels.

In the same scenario, EV sales will double by 2030, making the demand for Li-ion batteries quadruple by 2050.

The ESG Challenge with Cobalt

Another metal in high demand is cobalt, used in rechargeable batteries in smartphones and laptops and also in lithium-ion batteries for vehicles.

Increasing production comes with significant environmental and social risks, as cobalt reserves and mine production are concentrated in regions and countries with substantial ESG problems.

Currently, 70% of mined cobalt comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where nearly three-quarters of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Country2021 Production (Tonnes)
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo120,000
🇦🇺 Australia5,600
🇵🇭 Philippines4,500
🇨🇦 Canada4,300
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea3,000
🇲🇬 Madagascar2,500
🇲🇦 Morocco2,300
🇨🇳 China2,200
🇨🇺 Cuba2,200
🇷🇺 Russia2,200
🇮🇩 Indonesia 2,100
🇺🇸 U.S.700

Around one-fifth of cobalt mined in the DRC comes from small-scale artisanal mines, many of which rely on child labor.

Considering other obstacles like rising costs due to reserve depletion and surging resource nationalism, a shortfall in the cobalt market can emerge as early as 2024, according to Wood Mackenzie. Battery recycling, if fully utilised, can ease the upcoming supply shortage, but it cannot fill the entire gap.


Rare Earths: Winners and Losers

Rare earths are used in EVs and wind turbines but also in petroleum refining and gas vehicles. Therefore, an accelerated energy transition presents a mixed bag.

Using permanent magnets in applications like electric motors, sensors, and magnetic recording and storage media is expected to boost demand for materials like neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr) oxide.

On the contrary, as the world shifts from gas vehicles to EVs, declining demand from catalytic converters in fossil fuel-powered vehicles will impact lanthanum (La) and cerium (Ce).

Taking all into consideration, the demand for rare earths in an accelerated energy transition is forecasted to increase by 233% between 2020 and 2050. In this scenario, existing producers would be impacted by a short- to medium-term supply deficit.


The ESG dilemma

There is a clear dilemma for energy transition metals in an era of unprecedented demand. Can vital energy transition metals markets ramp up production fast enough to satisfy demand, while also revolutionising supply chains to meet ever-more stringent ESG requirements?

Understanding the challenges and how to capitalise on this investment opportunity has become more important than ever.

Sign up to Wood Mackenzie’s Inside Track to learn more about the impact of an accelerated energy transition on mining and metals.

×
Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular