11 Countries with highest natural gas reserves

Aug 20, 2015 12:00 AM

When the world today is constantly looking for alternative energy, the countries with highest natural gas reserves are catering to most of the world’s natural gas needs. The demand for natural gas might be at its all time high right now, and rising. With 2015 rate peaking at 3.4 cubic trillion meters of gas annually, even if the current consumption rates are maintained, the world would have depleted its remaining recoverable resources in the next 250 years. But with the consumption rates slowing creeping up by 2-3% every year, chances are we shall be left without natural gas in just 80-100 years.

That poses quite a difficult situation for our future generation. The rate at which the demand seem to rise, by 2035 demand for natural gas might stand at almost a double at what it stands at today. This means even more pressure on the countries with highest natural gas reserves to produce enough gas to meet the world demands. Efforts to discover new sources and reserves are also being undertaken around the world with obvious great enthusiasm. And over the past years there have been some amount of success in the same endeavors. Time and again we have new announcements of shale gas renewable resources, deep drilling and drilling efforts in various parts of the world like Central Asia, South Africa and Africa, which are constantly adding new updates to the gas reserve situations. Though shale gas deposits are yet to be added to the proven reserve numbers, there have been significant developments in some of the countries on our list on that front. U.S and Canada, for instance, might see a significant increase in proven resources if the development of shale gas is considered.

That being said, the countries on the current list are constantly under the radar for sitting on the valuable gas reserves, which obviously has them making some big bucks with each increase in world demand. No surprises that a lot of them feature among the 10 Richest Countries in the World by 2015 GDP.

Check out the list based on figures from the World Factbook, to find out where the world’s greatest natural gas proven reserves lie!

11. China

Proven Reserves: 3,300,000,000,000

Natural Gas usage has grown drastically in the past 5 years in China, even though it is still only 5% of the total energy consumption in the country. The government is recognizing its less polluting nature over other forms of energy, and demands are likely to rise in future. Even though reserves and production are relatively high China has been importing large amounts of Natural Gas.

10. Algeria

Proven Reserves: 4,505,000,000,000

Current reserves of Algeria are quite high and it is considered one of the hotspots for gas exploration. The country was the 5th top exporter of natural gas in 2009 with over 55 billion cubic meters of gas exports.

9. Nigeria

Proven Reserves: 5,118,000,000,000

Nigeria’s current gas production stands at 4 billion cubic feet per day, which is likely to be increased to 11 billion cubic feet by 2020. The country has massive plans to triple its natural gas production in the next 5 years.

8. Venezuela

Proven Reserves: 5,562,000,000,000

South America’s largest proven gas reserves lie in the country. However, the country is struggling to use its natural resources to the fullest owing to the difficulties it faces in transportation and poor infrastructure.

7. United Arab Emirates

Proven Reserves: 6,089,000,000,000

The oil-rich UAE has 7% of the global proved oil reserves and ranks 7th among the countries with the highest natural gas reserves. However, it is also a net importer of the fuel and is likely to increase its imports to meet the rising demand in the country.

6. Turkmenistan

Proven Reserves: 7,504,000,000,000

Even though Turkmenistan has considerably high proven reserves of natural gas, the production in the country has been relatively lesser. The country has also failed to use its strategic location to its advantage.

5. Saudi Arabia

Proven Reserves: 8,235,000,000,000

Almost one-third of the entire reserves in Saudi Arabia are found to be in the Ghawar area. The fuel being closely connected to oil production, its production has been closely controlled by the government. The country has been under WTO’s radar for providing high subsidies in natural gas.

4. United States

Proven Reserves: 8,734,000,000,000

The total natural gas consumption in U.S.A was close to 26.13 trillion cubic feet in 2013. Natural gas constitutes of nearly one-fourth of the nation’s total energy consumption. The rising demand is met through increased deployment of technology in the development of production techniques.

3. Qatar

Proven Reserves: 25,070,000,000,000

Most of Qatar’s natural gas reserves are located in its offshore Northfield which covers an area as large as the nation itself. The country has almost 14% of the entire world’s reserves and natural gas along with oil production accounts for almost 60% of the GDP.

2. Iran

Proven Reserves: 33,800,000,000,000

Iran has around 15.8% of the world’s natural gas reserves; however the country has huge potential for future discoveries of reserves that can increase its standing to a large extent. A whole lot of areas spanning from the Aghar and Dalan gas fields to the Stair of Hormuz, potentially natural gas-rich, have so far been untapped.

1. Russia

Proven Reserves: 47,800,000,000,000

Over 25% of European Union’s natural gas demands are met by Russia alone, while its own consumption is a whopping 457 bcm per year. With 24% of the world’s proven reserves, the country tops the list of countries with highest natural gas reserves.

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