Chemically, natural gas is a colourless, odourless, and gaseous hydrocarbon. The exploration, production, and transportation of natural gas take time and hence, the storage of natural gas in underground storage facilities and in above-ground tanks is much needed. The global natural gas storage market has gained impetus from the growing demand for natural gas. In 2014, the overall market stood at 392,831.22 mcm and is estimated to reach 548,798.39 mcm by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 3.7% during the period from 2015 to 2023.
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Hydraulic Fracking and Shale Gas Boom to Create New Opportunities for Global Natural Gas Storage Market
Growing energy security concerns and favourable government regulations are bolstering the global natural gas storage market. However, the high capital-intensive nature of the market will restrain its growth in the coming years. Hydraulic fracking and shale gas boom has led to increased natural gas production. This will create new opportunity for the growth of the global natural gas storage market.
Among Underground Storage Facilities, Depleted Reservoirs are the Cheapest
On the basis of storage type, the global natural gas storage market has been broadly segmented into underground storage and above-ground storage. Underground storage has been further categorized into salt caverns, depleted reservoirs, and aquifers. The global natural gas storage market has been dominated by underground storage facilities that account for more than 95% market share.
In 2014, depleted reservoirs were the largest number of underground storage facilities constructed across the globe. Depleted reservoirs are those structures where the recoverable natural gas has been already tapped and the underground formation is geologically capable to store natural gas. In terms of development, maintenance, and operations, depleted reservoirs are the cheapest. On the other hand, salt caverns are formed out of existing salt deposits and offer very high deliverability. Aquifers are underground porous rock formations that act as natural water reservoirs and can be also used as natural gas storage facilities. However, both salt caverns and aquifers are quite expensive. Further, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set certain regulations regarding the usage of aquifers as natural gas storage facilities to restrict the contamination of fresh water resources.
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Europe Dominated Global Natural Gas Storage Market in 2014
The global natural gas storage market has been segmented into four key regions: Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Rest of the World. In 2014, Europe accounted for more than 50% of the global market in terms of storage volume. Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, and France are the key markets for natural gas storage in the European region. North America emerged as the second-largest natural gas storage market in 2014, followed by Asia Pacific.
Key Players in Global Natural Gas Storage Market
Some of the key players in the global natural gas storage market are Gazprom, Spectra Energy Corporation, Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC, Centrica Storage Ltd., Chiyoda Corporation, TransCanada Corporation, NAFTA A.S., Cardinal Gas Storage Partners LLC, Engie S.A., and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
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