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Natural gas : the fuel of the future in Asia

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Publication Date: January 2000

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Fereidun Fesharaki; Kang Wu; Sara Banaszak

Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 44

Topic: Energy (Natural gas industry)

Type: Report

Coverage: Asia


Asia's economic miracle has largely been fueled by coal and petroleum. Although Asia dominates the world liquefied natural gas market, gas has been underutilized in the region relative to its tremendous potential and gas trade in Asia by pipelines is very limited. As the economic growth continues, natural gas should have a key role in Asia's future. Expanding gas use will reduce troublesome oil dependency, especially high import dependency on the Middle East, because Asia has its own natural gas supplies, and it will alleviate the pollution currently produced by coal burning and carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the long-term political and economic relationships required for maintaining gas trade could help to stabilize the region. The main obstacle to increasing the use of natural gas today is the lack of sufficient terminals, long-distance pipelines, and local network systems for its transport. The development of the transport and distributional infrastructure necessary for dramatic gas expansion will require support from both the private sector and, most importantly, Asian governments.