Gas Demand to Rise 17% by 2017 on Asia, U.S., IEA Says

Natural-gas consumption may rise 17 percent by 2017 from last year as demand surges in Asia and the U.S., according to the International Energy Agency. China's use of the fuel will double while Europe's will remain below the level of 2010, it said.

Demand worldwide will climb by 576 billion cubic meters to 3.937 trillion, the Paris-based adviser to oil-consuming nations said today in its first Medium-Term Gas Market Report. That's an average increase of 2.7 percent a year, which is similar to the growth during the last decade, the e-mailed report showed. Emerging nations will account for 69 percent of the gain.

"Asia will be by far the fastest growing region, driven primarily by China, which will emerge as the third-largest gas user by 2013," the IEA said. "Europe looks for a floor and Americas for a ceiling."

China's gas consumption will rise to 273 billion cubic meters in 2017 from 130 billion in 2011, according to the IEA. The increase of 13 percent a year compares with an annual expansion of 20 percent over the past three years, it said.

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