Naturally occurring gases and accelerated economic growths of nations

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

What is the impact of oil and gas exploration on the African economy? Get the answer in detail from Professor Sospeter Muhongo’s following presentation:

There are many types of naturally occurring gases on the planet Earth. Thus, this planet, which is approximately 4.5 billion years old, it has accumulated enormous amounts of natural gases through time.

For our today’s and subsequent discussions, I will deal with the following gases: methane, helium, carbon dioxide, and their associated gases.

(1) Methane gas (Natural Gas)
*The largest component of natural gas is methane (CH4).

*A typical natural gas composition consists of:
(i) Energy producing gases – methane, ethane, propane, butane, and condensate

(ii) Non-energy producing gases – helium, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulphide

From the above, the uses of natural gas are many. The list is long and may be clustered as follows:
(i) Electricity generation
*7.36 cu.ft of natural gas generates 1kWh of power

(ii) Fertilizer manufacturing
*33,500 cu.ft. of natural gas produces 1 ton of ammonia
*5.2 mmBTU produces 1 ton of urea

(iii) Source of heat for factories

(iv) Source of heat for homes, i.e. heating homes, cooking including gas cylinders with liquefied peroleum gases (LPG – butane, propane, propylene, butylene, and isobutane)

(v) Transportation, i.e. compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles

(vi) Other industrial products such as plastics, syringes, pharmaceuticals, and fabrics

(vii) Refrigeration and a cooling agent in some equipment

(viii) Rocket fuel

Global natural gas markets
*2021: The global natural gas market was valued at US$300 trillion
*2031: The market is projected to reach US $424.7 trillion

Global LNG market
*2021: The market size was at US$ 109.48 billion
*2022: The market reached US$ 112.0 billion

LNG forecasts
*2024 imports to reach approximately 220 million metric tonnes (ca 220 MMt)
2025: Approx 226 MMt

The world’s largest exporters of natural gas
*2022: USA led the world in gas exportation:
(i) 82.7 billion cu.m. (pipeline)
(ii)104.3 billion cu.m. (LNG)
*Russia and Qatar were second and third, respectively.

Economic lessons from some natural gas & petroleum exporting countries of Europe (Norway), Africa (Algeria) and Middle East (Qatar):

(i) Norway: Tanzania’s long-term partner in natural gas exploration
*Is Europe’s largest gas exporter, and in 2022, it exported more than 120 billion cu.m., mostly through subsea pipelines
*LNG: it can export 6.5 billion cu.m. per annum
*2022 GDP/Capita: US$ 106,149
Growth Rate 17.09%
(Note that oil & gas account for 20% of Norway’s economy)

(ii) Algeria: the North Africa’s leading natural gas producer and exporter
*It produces approximately 100 billion cu.m. per annum
*2021 gas production: 53% was exported, and 47% was used domestically
*2022 LNG export was 14.4 billion cu.m.
*Algeria’s economy is heavenly relying on the export of petroleum and natural gas
*2022 GDP: US$ 195.06 billion (nominal)
*2022 GDP growth: 4.7%
*2022 GDP per capita: US$ 4,306.8

(iii) Qatar: one of the largest exporters of LNG in the world
*Petroleum & natural gas account for more than 70% of Qatar’s government total revenue and about 85% of its export earnings!
*Major exports are natural gas, crude petroleum, fertilizers, and polymers.
*2022 LNG export: was the largest in the world at an export volume of 114.1 billion cu.m.
*2022 GDP: US$ 237.30 billion (nominal)
*2022 GDP per capita: US$ 88,046

From the above facts and figures, especially from the GDP per capita (nominal) of Algeria (US$ 4,306.8), Qatar (US$ 88,046), and Norway (US$ 106,149), it is unequivocally concluded that utilisation of the nation’s natural gas and petroleum resources would bring about accelerated economic growth and prosperity.

Africa’s nations ought to intensify oil (petroleum) and natural gas exploration and precise estimation of the recoverable volumes in both their conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbon reserves.

Helium and carbon-dioxide economies will be dealt with later.

Sospeter Muhongo, CGeol, EurGeol
*Former, Vice President of the Commission of the Geolocal Map of the World (CGMW)

*Former, Chairperson of the UNESCO-IGCP-IUGS Scientific Board of International Geoscience Programme

Wednesday, 18.10.2023

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