The United States was the global leader in natural gas production growth last year, and, demand for the clean, abundant fuel grew at its fastest pace since 2010, according to a recent International Energy Agency report. Global natural gas is expected to keep rising through 2024, the agency reported.
Growth in the safe production and use of natural gas boosts America’s economy and energy security, while also helping to achieve global climate goals.
“Natural gas helped to reduce air pollution and limit the rise in energy-related CO2 emissions by displacing coal and oil in power generation, heating and industrial uses,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director.
Key Takeaways from the report include:
- Production Growth Leader: The global leader in oil and natural gas production, the U.S. saw the biggest jump in natural gas production in more than a half-century last year.
- Leading LNG Exporter: In the Liquefied Natural Gas Market, “the United States is expected to surpass Qatar and Australia to become the world’s largest LNG exporter by the end of the forecast period.”
- Growing Global Natural Gas Demand: Global natural gas demand in 2018 grew at its fastest pace since 2010, as clean, affordable natural gas makes up an increasingly larger share of electricity generation. In addition to power generation, manufacturing and industrial use play a key role in growing demand, as natural gas is used both as a fuel source and important feedstock.
Increasing local and global demand for U.S. natural gas is good news for continued investment and job creation in the region.
Work is well underway, for example, at the new $863 million natural gas-fueled electrical generation plant in North Beaver Township just up the road from the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex under construction in Beaver County. The two projects will employ a combined 7,500 workers from local building trades at peak construction.
“There are a tremendous amount of hours available to work – and the paychecks are big,” Tom Durkin, president of Local 66 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, notes while describing the impact on job creation that Marcellus Shale development has had on the region.
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