Energy and environment

Natural gas

The abundance and versatility of natural gas make it a valuable energy source to meet a variety of needs while also helping the world shift to less carbon-intensive sources of energy.

FAVORABLE ATTRIBUTES DRIVE GROWTH

Natural gas’ abundance, flexibility and comparative environmental benefits drive projected growth more than any other energy source

All of the world’s energy sources will be needed to meet rising demand to 2040, but there will be a marked shift toward cleaner fuels, particularly natural gas. Not only are natural gas resources geographically and geologically diverse, abundant, reliable and versatile in use (power generation; residential, commercial, industrial heating and cooking; and even transportation), but also natural gas emits significantly fewer pollutants than coal power generation, including NOx, SOx, particulates, mercury, and up to 60 percent fewer GHGs.

Technologies, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have unlocked vast unconventional resources, which have dramatically altered the natural gas supply landscape in the past decade, particularly for North America. Natural gas usage is projected to continue to expand rapidly. We expect about 40 percent of the projected growth in global energy demand from 2016 to 2040 will be met by natural gas.

Natural gas overview

Up to 60% fewer CO₂ emissions

and significant air pollutant reductions from electricity generation when fueled by natural gas as compared to coal

Natural gas meets an increasing share of world demand

Percent of primary energy demand (%)