First decline in US gas consumption since 2009.
Global gas demand that had been rising since 2014 accelerated in 2017, spurred by Asia, which accounted for 1/3 of the additional demand. China was the largest contributor to the increase in gas consumption, in line with its coal-to-gas substitution policy. Economic growth also helped gas demand increase in India, Japan and South Korea (low nuclear availability for these two countries).
Economic recovery and higher heating needs gave a boost to Russian gas demand, which accounted for nearly ¼ of the additional demand worldwide.
Gas consumption also continued to grow at a steady pace in the Middle-East, especially in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and in Africa, mainly in Egypt (rise in domestic production) and in Nigeria.
Improved economic conditions and lower nuclear and hydropower availability in Europe contributed to raise European gas consumption again, especially in Germany and in southern Europe (Turkey, Italy, Spain, and Portugal). It declined in the United Kingdom over milder temperature and fierce competition from renewables in power generation.
In North America, gas consumption posted its first drop in seven years the United States, due to the lower electricity demand, competition from renewable power sources and relatively high hydropower generation, whereas it surged in Canada.
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Several Eastern Mediterranean governments - Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and Palestine - have agreed to establish the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, a regional gas market that would optimise the resource development of its members, rationalise the cost of the transportation infrastructure, offer competitive trade prices and improve mutual trade relations. Other countries may join the forum later and the institution will be also open to monitoring by international and regional organisations.
The Iraqi government expects to raise production from the southern Majnoon oilfield near Basrah from the current 240,000 bbl/d to 290,000 bbl/d by the end of 2019 and then to 450,000 bbl/d by the end of 2021. In 2019, US$7bn will be invested for the development of five oil fields in the Basra region, of which 10% (US$700m) for the Majnoon field. Besides, it has also outlined plans to develop a new offshore oil export pipeline with a capacity to transport 700,000 bbl/d by the end of 2019.
The Tunisian government expects the country to produce approximately 25% of its energy output with renewable energy projects by 2020. New projects - mainly wind and solar - with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW worth TND2.5bn (US$836m) should be commissioned by 2020.
According to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), crude oil exports via the CPC pipeline rose by 11% in 2018, reaching 61.1 Mt. Exports from Kazakhstan accounted for most of this figure (89%) - with three Kazakhstan oil fields making up the majority of the exports (28.7 Mt came from Tengiz, 13.2 Mt from Kashagan and 10.3 Mt from Karachaganak), while the remainder came from Russia.