Global Natural Gas Storage Market: Snapshot
The global market for natural gas storage is expected to flourish at a significant pace, driven by the growing concerns pertaining to the depleting non-renewable energy sources. Occurring deep beneath the surface of the earth, natural gas consists chiefly of methane, and small amounts of non-hydrocarbon gases and hydrocarbon gas liquids. Although natural gas is primarily used as a fuel, it is also widely used in the production of chemicals and materials.
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The storage of natural gas is crucial in the maintenance of the reliability of supply, necessary for meeting the needs of the consumers. With natural gas storage facilities playing a vital role in handling seasonal shifts in demand, unexpected upsurges in demand, and storing natural gas for commercial purposes, the demand for natural gas storage facilities is likely to soar. The storage facilities are useful when prices of natural gas are low and also when vendors need to withdraw and sell it when prices rise. Apart from underground storage, natural gas can also be stored in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Storing natural gas as LNG enables easy shipping and storage of natural gas in the liquid form, thereby occupying much lesser space than the gaseous one.
Asia Pacific Opens up New Windows for Further Growth
The global market for natural gas storage can be segmented by geography and type of storage. By geography, the global natural gas storage market has been segmented into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Rest of the World (RoW). The report conducts an in-depth analysis of the leading regional segments such as Germany, China, Argentina, the U.S., Italy, Iran, Russia, France, Ukraine, and Australia. European nations have been exhibiting higher demand for natural gas storage facilities over the last few years. As a result, Europe accounted for the largest share of 50% of the overall market for natural gas storage in 2014. North America emerged as the second-leading segment, with Asia Pacific at its heels.
In terms of future growth, Asia Pacific is the ripest terrain brimming with potential. With augmenting demand for natural gas storage facilities in China, several new natural gas storage facilities are being constructed across the country. Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India have been following suit. The expanding volume of investments in natural gas storage, government encouragement via advantageous incentives, and availability of raw materials in the region are propelling the market for natural gas storage in this region.
By Type, Underground Storage Segment Claims Largest Share
By type of storage, the global natural gas storage market has been segmented into underground storage and above-ground storage. The underground storage segment is further segmented into salt caverns, depleted reservoirs, and aquifers. While aquifers are permeable and porous rock formations which serve as natural water reservoirs beneath the ground, salt caverns form out of salt deposits in two forms, salt beds and salt domes. Depleted reservoirs refer to those formations that remain after all recoverable natural gas has been tapped from the site. According to the past findings, the underground storage segment accounted for the greater share of the market when compared with above-ground storage. It held a whopping 95% of the global natural gas storage market in 2014.
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Under the underground storage segment, depleted reservoirs accounted for the largest amount of shares, being the most constructed natural gas storage facility. This sub- segment held nearly 75% of the underground storage segment in 2014. Increasing investments in the exploration of new oil and gas fields and swelling demand for natural gas storage facilities have been responsible for the growth of the underground natural gas storage segment.