During the 1990s, improvements in LNG technology (Liquefied Natural Gas) meant that capital outlays for liquefaction and gasification could be cut back. Trade in LNG has increased substantially over the past decades and continues to increase considerably faster than trade in gas transported in conventional pipelines. LNG is a new fuel for coasters, ferries and inland vessels and becomes more attractive for truck owners in road transport. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
New gas deposits adds to supply
Technological advances in extraction (for example horizontal wells and natural gas transport) have rendered extraction of large unconventional deposits possible in recent years, and the production potential is substantial. Unconventional gas deposits, such as shale gas, are beginning to constitute an increasingly large share of total world supply. In 2015, unconventional gas comprised approximately 5 per cent of global production and over 10 per cent of the US production. The US is changing from a net importer of natural gas into an exporter of LNG.
Increased use of biogas would reduce emissions
One future possibility is to increase the blend of biogas for end-users or inject in the general gas grid as green gas. Green or bio gas is a renewable gas, and the CO2 that is produced during combustion is a natural part of the cycle. An increased blend of green gas would therefore reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Green gas blending is currently limited but is expected to increase in future. In the long term, hydrogen gas may also be blended (up to a maximum of 10%) with natural gas in order to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions.