Energy: Natural gas and its increasing global importance

The Nord Stream natural gas pipeline will, when finished in 2012, transport natural gas from Siberia to Western Europe (photo: dpa)
The Nord Stream natural gas pipeline will, when finished in 2012, transport natural gas from Siberia to Western Europe (photo: dpa)

Globally, natural gas has become an increasingly important source of fuel which, while addressing climate concerns, will provide medium-term energy security. GIS expert Dr Carole Nakhle explains, in this special report, how this shift to gas has come about and what it means to the world’s energy mix.

SEVERAL decades ago, when oil companies gas came across natural gas during exploration and drilling it was seen as a huge disappointment.

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Natural gas was of little use then and company investment was seen as a failure. When oil companies found a gas well, they called it a ‘dry hole’.

The natural gas which was recovered in ...

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