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Global Markets and Technologies for Natural Gas Storage

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July 29, ,2013 : Bharat Book Bureau presents the new report, on 'Global Markets and Technologies for Natural Gas Storage'  Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2011 and 2012, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2017
Evaluation of the future global use of storage as a means of primary energy production
Discussion of important current and potential environmental regulations that may affect the growth of this market
Examination of pricing trends for key North American and European wholesale gas markets
Assessment of the impacts of new and proposed infrastructure on LNG and underground gas storage projects
A detailed patent analysis
Comprehensive company profiles of the top players in the market.


The objective of this study is to examine the natural gas market in which storage of gas is a key consideration. It is challenging to examine only the storage component of the market, as storage is basically a component of the entire supply chain of the gas market. There are also two types of storage, conventional storage of gas in a gaseous form, and storage of natural gas after it has been reduced to a liquid through the application of compression and cryogenic technology. It is this latter type of technology that is relatively new to the industry that has revolutionized the entire structure of the industry and permitted the economic shipment of gas from its often-remote points of production to markets where it can be used in a vast variety of ways.


The reason for doing such a study is the underlying investment opportunities that are inherent in the development of the natural gas industry. What is clear is that in the twenty first century, there will be a revolution in the use of energy in transportation, industry and daily life comparable to the change that took place in the 20th century. The auto, the electric light, the airplane and a host of other products were developed that changed life in the modern world. It seems that the pattern will be repeated in the twenty first century as the Internet revolutionizes communication just as the telephone, invented toward the end of the nineteenth century revolutionized communications in the twentieth. Much the same thing will occur within the energy field as it morphs into new forms as it did when electric motors and gasoline engines replaced the nineteenth century steam engine and animal power in the twentieth. Natural gas, solar power, wind power, tidal energy and a host of as yet undreamed of non-polluting energy sources will replace the coal, oil, and perhaps even natural gas in the twenty first century as the destruction created by environmental pollution is recognized as unacceptable. Natural gas is a step toward reducing levels of pollution while providing relatively low cost energy to a wide variety of users. It must be understood that while natural gas reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 45% compared to coal and 30% compared to oil it is not the ultimate answer to pollution control.

The advantages of natural gas are that it is easily transported by pipeline and fairly easily using tankers both at sea and over the road. It can be piped into homes to provide heating, cooking, air conditioning, and to power a variety of other appliances. In situations where a user is not on a pipeline a small tank that can be recharged provides the same capabilities. It can also be used in vehicles including aircraft where it is cleaner than gasoline, diesel or most aircraft fuels. It is also a raw material for ammonia for fertilizers, and hydrogen, as well as in the production of some plastics and paints. It is relatively abundant, clean burning and easy to distribute. Natural gas is also safer than propane in that it is lighter than air and if there is a leak it tends to dissipate. Propane is heavier than air and tends to pool into explosive pockets in the event of a leak. Natural gas can power any number of household appliances and it is less expensive than electricity that is the alternative, but is nonpolluting except in some cases at points of generation.

It is important to understand that natural gas is not a perfect solution to the problems of pollution. While it is cleaner than coal or oil it still contributes substantial volumes of carbon dioxide to environmental greenhouse gases. By itself, natural gas is primarily methane, which is some 21 times as dangerous for greenhouse warming than carbon dioxide. This implies than any leakage of natural gas including those from animals, landfills, melting tundra, etc. contribute substantially to greenhouse emissions. It also carries a variety of risks. It has advantages, but is far from a panacea for energy problems and environmental control.


The focus of this report is presumably the storage of natural gas, and this theme will be returned to repeatedly in the course of this project. It is virtually impossible to adhere solely to the original title concerning gas storage. So long as there is a demand for storage, it must be viewed in the context of the entire natural gas industry and in some respects the entire energy industry. In some cases it is possible to be drawn far a-field. For example both natural gas and nuclear energy are used to generate electric power. If the power plant in question uses gas, the fuel must be stored on site to assure a continuous supply. A comparison of these problems is far outside the scope of this report.

The real focus of the project looks at two closely related questions: the increase in the use of gas as a replacement for other energy sources and the increased requirements for the infrastructure required to handle the increasing demand for natural gas. It must be understood that the demand for and expansion of infrastructure and for storage facilities is a derived demand. It cannot be discussed in a vacuum, but as a result of a basic movement in the world energy market from one set of sources to another. Coal consumption for example will probably not increase significantly in the future and will probably decline. Total energy demand worldwide will almost certainly increase and the proportion of this increase that will be filled by gas is almost certain to increase. That in turn implies the almost certain expansion of the requirements for gas storage. This project will attempt to quantify this increase over the five-year period beginning in 2012 and through 2017/18. It is virtually certain that the demand for gas and its storage will increase in this period in spite of the questions concerning global economic growth rates. It seems almost certain that “global GNP” will increase in this period, but exactly where the growth will occur and what the growth rates will be by area is less than clear.


The readers envisioned for this report include business planners not only from those directly involved in the energy market but also those whose businesses involve the consumption of natural gas in almost any form either as a raw material or as a direct or indirect energy source. It is also a source of data for acquisition specialists, product managers, investors, investment consultants, market researchers, transportation specialists, business analysts, commodity and securities traders, business planners and anyone interested in the energy markets for almost any reason. The storage of natural gas either in gaseous or liquid form is of vital importance in a wide variety of disciplines and areas of activity ranging from seaborne transport to manufacturing to electric generation and innumerable additional areas. The market for gas storage is a function of a wide variety of uses of gas for both energy and as a raw material.

The future market for gas storage is a function of the future use levels of gas in a wide variety of situations, but the safe and secure storage of the product is of key importance to everyone involved in any of these markets or potential markets. There is also a major question of government regulation in both the transportation of gas and its storage. It must be remembered that if the product is mishandled or escapes from its storage containers or in transit, it can be highly hazardous. This implies government interest in both its handling and storage and the development of regulations to minimize the risks inherent in handling volatile and explosive fuels.

The study also attempts to provide an insight into both the companies that provide or utilize gas storage and those companies that provide the construction expertise and hardware required to handle and store the product. The construction of gas storage facilities can vary from a simple metal tank in a residential backyard to vast construction projects involving hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.

When the project was initiated it was assumed that there companies would emerge whose primary functions were the storage of gas and others whose primary activity was the planning and construction of gas storage facilities. As the research for the project progressed, it emerged that while there are any number of gas companies, transporters and distributors of natural gas, very few of them were specialists in any form of gas storage. It also became clear that the number of publically owned companies concentrated in gas storage at any level was limited to about twelve companies. The companies that are specialists in gas storage appear in a table below that also provides some basic data on the companies in question. The publically owned giants such as the oil companies and their suppliers such as Halliburton, Dresser Industries, Fluor, Hughes Tool, Schlumberger, Transocean and many others dominate the industry. Virtually every one of these companies has some involvement in gas storage, but it is a minuscule element in their overall operations.

The importance of gas storage as a component in investment decisions is questionable. There is no question that if the global consumption of natural gas increases as there will be incremental investment in the gas industry. The number of “pure plays” or exciting developments will be very limited, however. It is important to investors and planners that they have a clear picture of all the facets of the gas industry, its problems and its opportunities. The developments and changes in the gas industry will be primarily evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary.

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