Peak gas

Have we reached peak gas? By gas I mean natural gas, not petrol in the US parlance.  Every year in June the BP Statistical Review of World Energy is published.  For those of us interested in energy it makes fascinating reading.  Last year the shocking bit of information was that global gas reserves had fallen for the first time ever.  Something that the report produced with the data did not highlight.  So it was with great interest I downloaded the spreadsheet this year.  As the graph below shows natural gas reserve figures have risen but only a tiny amount.  To be fair its early days but this is beginning to look like peak gas.

gas reserve data 2014Source BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014

As we wrote in our book about peak gas.

Where does this leave us? It is very hard to come to definite conclusions about gas with so little data on reserves to draw on.

This has never seemed so true, after I plotted the above graph I noticed there had been a previous fall in 2008-9.  Had I missed this last year?  No when I went back to last years data I discovered it had been revised.  So looking the figure for the year 2000 this is 156.78 TCM in the 2009 data, 154.25 in the 2010 data, 168.5 in 2011, 154.3 in 2012, 139.7 in 2013 and 139.2 today.  Confused, your not the only one! and when I find out what’s going on I will let you know by the books Facebook page.

However, to go back to the main point this is beginning to look like peak gas.  Two last points, the data does take into account shale gas, the US reserves have been rising steeply.  Lastly the increase in reserves was 0.2% 2012-13 and consumption rose 1.4% in the same period.  I don’t need to emphasise to regular readers of this blog or our book how vital gas is to energy, chemicals and agriculture.


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