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A Global Perspective on the Future of Natural Gas: Resources, Trade, and Climate Constraints


  • Franziska Holz
  • Philipp M. Richter
  • Ruud Egging


Natural gas plays an important role in the global energy system as an input to power generation, heating, and industry. This article identifies key drivers and uncertainties for natural gas markets in the coming decades. These include the availability of natural gas from conventional and unconventional sources, the role of international trade, and the impact of climate policies. We build on model-based research as well as an up-to-date survey of natural gas resource availability. We find that natural gas is an abundant fossil fuel and that the Asia-Pacific region will be most important in future global natural gas markets, especially under stringent international climate change mitigation. This means that an increasingly large share of future natural gas trade flows and infrastructure expansions will be directed to the Asia-Pacific region and that the role of liquefied natural gas will continue to increase globally. (JEL: C61, L71, Q33, Q37, Q54)

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska Holz & Philipp M. Richter & Ruud Egging, 2015. "A Global Perspective on the Future of Natural Gas: Resources, Trade, and Climate Constraints," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(1), pages 85-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:renvpo:v:9:y:2015:i:1:p:85-106.

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    Cited by:

    1. Bouwmeester, Maaike C. & Oosterhaven, J., 2017. "Economic impacts of natural gas flow disruptions between Russia and the EU," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 288-297.
    2. Li, Qiyuan & Tehrani, S. Saeed Mostafavi & Taylor, Robert A., 2017. "Techno-economic analysis of a concentrating solar collector with built-in shell and tube latent heat thermal energy storage," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 220-237.
    3. Burke, Paul J. & Yang, Hewen, 2016. "The price and income elasticities of natural gas demand: International evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 466-474.
    4. Holz, Franziska & Brauers, Hanna & Richter, Philipp M. & Roobeek, Thorsten, 2017. "Shaking Dutch grounds won’t shatter the European gas market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 520-529.
    5. Egging-Bratseth, Ruud & Baltensperger, Tobias & Tomasgard, Asgeir, 2020. "Solving oligopolistic equilibrium problems with convex optimization," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 284(1), pages 44-52.
    6. Egging, Ruud & Holz, Franziska, 2016. "Risks in global natural gas markets: Investment, hedging and trade," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 468-479.
    7. Egging, Ruud & Pichler, Alois & Kalvø, Øyvind Iversen & Walle–Hansen, Thomas Meyer, 2017. "Risk aversion in imperfect natural gas markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 259(1), pages 367-383.
    8. Richter, Philipp M. & Holz, Franziska, 2015. "All quiet on the eastern front? Disruption scenarios of Russian natural gas supply to Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 177-189.
    9. Dawud Ansari & Franziska Holz & Hashem al-Kuhlani, 2019. "Energy Outlooks Compared: Global and Regional Insights," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1837, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Yeh, Sonia & Cai, Yiyong & Huppman, Daniel & Bernstein, Paul & Tuladhar, Sugandha & Huntington, Hillard G., 2016. "North American natural gas and energy markets in transition: insights from global models," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 405-415.
    11. Umeozor, Evar C. & Jordaan, Sarah M. & Gates, Ian D., 2018. "On methane emissions from shale gas development," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 594-600.
    12. Franziska Holz, Philipp M. Richter, and Ruud Egging, 2016. "The Role of Natural Gas in a Low-Carbon Europe: Infrastructure and Supply Security," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Sustainab).
    13. Anne Neumann & Sophia Rüster & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2015. "Long-Term Contracts in the Natural Gas Industry: Literature Survey and Data on 426 Contracts (1965-2014)," Data Documentation 77, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Fahmy, M.F.M. & Nabih, H.I. & El-Rasoul, T.A., 2015. "Optimization and comparative analysis of LNG regasification processes," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 371-385.
    15. Ruud Egging & Franziska Holz, 2015. "Local Consequences of Global Uncertainty: Capacity Development and LNG Trade under Shale Gas and Demand Uncertainty and Disruption Risk," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1498, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    16. Chen, Jiandong & Yu, Jie & Ai, Bowei & Song, Malin & Hou, Wenxuan, 2019. "Determinants of global natural gas consumption and import–export flows," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 588-602.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)
    • Q37 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Issues in International Trade
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


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