Global natural gas consumption is projected to grow by an annual average of 2.7% during the 2014-15 period, mainly due to strong growth in Chinese demand and a recovery in European consumption.
China is expected to remain one of the world's main drivers of global natural gas demand with an annual aver-age consumption growth rate of 11% over the 2013-15 period.
In parallel, global natural gas production is forecast to grow by an annual average rate of 2.3% during the 2014-15 period, nearly unchanged from the average growth rate in the previous three years. Further, the U.S. natural gas Henry Hub prices are projected to reach $4 per million British thermal units (Btu) on average in the fourth quarter of 2013, while European natural gas prices are projected to average $11.94 per million Btu during the same quarter this year.
Overall, the U.S. natural gas Henry Hub prices are anticipated to rise by 37.6% year-on-year to $3.8 per million Btu on average in 2013. In parallel, the Dow Jones-UBS Energy Sub-Index regressed by 4.3% in September 2013, while the Petroleum Sub-Index decreased by 4.8% during the month. Also, the Dow Jones-UBS WTI Crude Oil Sub-Index declined by 4.4% in September, the Brent Crude Sub-Index decreased by 3.2%, while that of Natural Gas regressed by 3.4% last month.
Economist Intelligence Unit – Byblos Bank Research