Russia has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas and leads the globe in the production and export of dry natural gas. The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, which holds the third-largest reserves, is first in supplying liquefied natural gas to world markets. The United States, the fifth largest consumer of natural gas, remains a strong competitor in both resources and exploitation, having vied with Russia over the last several years for first place in production. The U.S. additionally has the advantage of a business infrastructure that has developed highly efficient methods of production and distribution of the fossil fuel.
In Europe and other parts of the world, government regulations have limited exploration and drilling operations. Many observers credit the relatively loose U.S. regulatory environment for today’s thriving American natural gas industry.
Meanwhile, a number of other nations are emerging as potential major players in the natural gas supply chain. While Qatar and Russia continue to step up the transformation of their untapped reserves, Australia, Israel, and several nations in South America and Africa are seeking ways to develop recently discovered natural gas fields within their borders.