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Natural gas has emerged as a leading primary source of energy because it burns cleaner than other fossil fuels. It is widely adopted in various applications stressing the demand for energy security by storing it in different forms. Natural gas is stored during periods of lower demand and withdrawn during periods of higher demand. The consumption of natural gas is strongly influenced by weather condition especially during the winter season as it is used for space heating in residential and commercial buildings. Stored natural gas plays a vital role in ensuring that any excess supply delivered during summer months is available to meet the increased demand for winter months.
Natural gas in storage imparts energy security against the catastrophic disaster that may affect the production or delivery of natural gas. In addition to serving those purposes, natural gas storage is broadly adopted by industry participants for commercial reasons. Storing gas when prices are low and withdrawing and selling it when prices are high. Due to several other reasons and advantageous properties of natural gas; it is essentially important to store natural gas.
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Natural gas storage can be broadly classified into the type of storing method; Aboveground Storage and Underground Storage. The transportation and distribution of natural gas in above ground storage can be done in the form of liquified natural gas (LNG) as it requires less space compared to gaseous natural gas. Underground storage is further divided into depleted gas reservoirs, aquifers, and salt caverns. The depleted gas reservoir is the most common type of storage facility due to the capacity to hold natural gas for future use and the rate at which gas can be withdrawn.
Depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs commonly used underground storage sites because of their economic viability. Aquifers are porous, a permeable rock formation that acts as natural water bodies. In certain conditions, these natural water bodies are reconditioned to store natural gas. Aquifers are expensive to develop and usually employed where there is no availability of depleted gas reservoirs. The salt cavern is an artificial cavity created by injecting water to dissolve the salt and offers the facility to store natural gas.
Natural gas not only offers an environmentally friendly form of energy but also burns cleaner than other forms of fossil fuels turning it into the most affordable and highly utilized fuel expanding the growth of the natural gas storage. To meet the increasing demand for natural gas, storage is important to offer energy security which drives the market of natural gas storage.
A rigid infrastructure is needed to store natural gas in a controlled environment. It requires a huge periodic investment in operation and maintenance activities to curb leak from storage tanks. Natural gas storage is quite expensive and criticality in transmission capacity is the restraints are anticipated to hamper the growth of the natural gas storage market.
The key players in natural gas storage are Engie SA, Enbridge Inc, TransCanada, Sempra Energy, Trafigura, WorleyParsons, DTE Energy, Centrica, Technip, Chiyoda Corporation, Spectra Energy, Amec Foster Wheeler, Gazprom, and NAFTA A.S.
· Above Ground Storage
o Fixed LNG Terminal
o Floating LNG Terminal
· Underground Storage
o Salt Cavern
o Depleted Reservoirs
· North America (USA and Canada)
· Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe)
· Asia Pacific (Japan, China, India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Rest of Asia Pacific)
· Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Rest of Latin America)
· Middle East & Africa (South Africa, GCC and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)
The global natural gas storage market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. The United States exports an enormous amount of natural gas to Canada and Mexico through a pipeline and also a net exporter to several other countries. Due to extreme weather condition natural gas is broadly used for space heating in residential and commercial buildings which are expected the growth of the natural gas storage in North America. Europe is expected to exhibit a significant growth rate for natural gas storage due to abundant market availability and favorable regulatory framework. Strict pollution norms and implementation of energy conservation policies have increased the use of natural gas utilization which stressing the demand for natural gas storage for energy security. The Asia Pacific is the fastest growing region and one of the top consumer of fossil fuel. Extensive urbanization, industrialization, and growing market which in turn create the demanding market for natural gas storage. The Middle East is expected a considerable growth owing to increasing energy demand.
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