7. Natural Gas: The 21st-Century Fuel

The 19th century was the century of coal, the 20th the age of oil. The 21st century is shaping up to be the century for natural gas. Natural gas has three powerful advantages over oil: It’s more widely available, it’s cheaper, and it’s environmentally friendly.

The rapid development of the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market has turned gas from a regional market limited by a rigid pipeline network into a global market much like crude oil. Consuming countries with LNG import terminals can now obtain their gas from a variety of different regions of the world, diversifying their supply base and lowering the risk of disruption. LNG has also unlocked vast “stranded” gas supplies—giant gas fields in places ...

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