Energy analysts have used the reserves/production ratios for oil and natural gas for decades as indicators of the ability of countries to maintain or increase their production of those fuels. The global community is now faced with the challenge of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from a variety of sources, with the energy sector being the largest contributor to the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Natural gas has emerged as a highly desirable fuel, since it produces lower emissions of carbon dioxide than coal or oil for equivalent amounts of energy supplied. The ratio of a country's proven natural gas reserves to its total energy consumption is a good indicator of its ability to improve its air quality situation or address greenhouse gas reduction targets from domestic natural gas sources. This paper provides the ratio for several countries at different stages of development, and discusses some of the implications. In countries where exploration for natural gas has been limited, the estimated resources in place may sometimes be a more useful indicator than proven reserves, and could be used instead.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2002
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