I N T E R N A T I O N A L E N E R G Y A G E N C Y
Market review 2009
The global economic crisis has not spared the gas sector. Over the past year, we have moved
from a tight supply and demand balance with extremely high gas prices to an easing one
with plummeting gas prices. Since the last quarter of 2008, demand has been declining
dramatically, essentially because of the global recession. Yet significant new volumes of
liquefied natural gas will come on stream within the next few years, and the United States’
unconventional gas production has risen rapidly, with global consequences. It remains to
be seen how these demand and supply pressures will play out, particularly in the pivotal
power sector, in both OECD and non-OECD countries.
Meanwhile, the security of gas supplies has once again become a critical issue, in particular
in Europe after it experienced its worst supply disruption during the Russian-Ukraine crisis
in January 2009.
Moreover, the current market climate of weakening demand, lower prices and regulatory
uncertainties added to the tough financial environment are likely to jeopardise investments,
in particular in capital-intensive projects, further undermining long-term energy security
in the most fundamental way when economies recover.
The Natural Gas Market Review 2009 looks at these and other major developments and
challenges in the different parts of the gas value chain in a selection of IEA countries – the
United States, Canada, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, and Turkey – as well as in non-IEA
member countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and China.
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International Energy Agency
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The Paris-based International Energy Agency is an intergovernmental body committed to advancing
security of energy supply, economic growth and environmental sustainability through energy policy and
technology co-operation. It was founded after the oil supply disruptions in 1973-1974 and consists of
28 industrialised countries, members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.