The Earth’s Natural Gas Resources

Even though crude oil gets the most media attention, natural gas also contributes greatly to the energy requirements of the world. So, how much natural gas does the world have left? The answer to this question might surprise many.

Natural gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel. Usually called natural gas, this gas can also be called methane, since methane makes up the bulk of the natural gas resources. Natural gas can be found in coal mines, oil fields and its own unique locations, where natural gas is exclusively found.

Natural gas also tends to be used more directly in our daily lives. By direct use, I mean that we directly interact with the resources. For example, most people will use natural gas once they switch on their gas stove. You also encounter natural gas when you light the pilot light on a household heater. Other than its residential applications, natural gas is also employed by industries for a whole assortment of manufacturing applications. A lesser known use of natural gas is as a fundamental component in the production of ammonia.

Remarkably, the nations that have rich natural gas resources also have significant oil reserves. Russia and Iran has some of the greatest natural gas fields, as do numerous other Middle-Eastern countries. Luckily, natural gas is also found in oil-poor countries like Argentina, Mexico and Australia.

This begs the question of how much natural gas do we have left at present? The most recent estimates reckon the natural gas reserves to have 1800 trillion cubic meters left. That certainly sounds like plenty, but given our current rate of consumption, it equates to about 60 years’ worth of supply. Issue like these are usually discussed by a professional oil forum that meets annually for an oil & gas energy conference.

As with oil, there are two variables that can throw these estimates completely off. These variables are economic development and the discovery of further natural resources.

China and India are two of the fastest developing economies presently. The economies of these countries are growing exceptionally quick and natural gas is one of the energy sources they are reliant on. It has been estimated that with current growth figures, the amount of natural gas needed by these economies could double in the next 10 to 20 year.

The second variable is a lot more positive. Many professionals believe that we should discover more natural gas fields in the near future years. The prospect of finding more gas resources is, in fact, much better than the prospects to find new crude oil reserves. The biggest problem with gas is that it’s hard to transport, but recent innovations have solved many of the transportation difficulties, so exploration efforts are slowly increasing.

Natural gas plays an essential role in the overall energy supply of most economies. While natural gas resources seem enough for the foreseeable future, it is important to remember it is not a renewable resource.