Natural Gas

Overview

  • Natural gas is a vital component of the world's energy supply. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and the most useful of all energy sources. Given its growing resource base and relatively low carbon emissions compared with other fossil fuels, natural gas is likely to play a greater role in the world energy mix.
  • As early as about 500 BC, the Chinese discovered the potential of natural gas seeping through the earth’s surface. They used it to boil sea water, separating the salt and making it drinkable. Around 1785, Britain became the first country to commercialize the use of natural gas; natural gas produced from coal was used to light houses as well as streetlights.
  • Without any effective transportation method, natural gas discovered before World War II was usually just allowed to vent into the atmosphere, or burnt, when found alongside coal and oil, or simply left in the ground when found alone. Once the transportation of natural gas was possible, new uses were discovered. These included heating homes and operating appliances, such as water heaters, ovens, and cooktops. Industry began to use natural gas in manufacturing and processing plants, in boilers used to generating electricity.
  • Given the volatility in international natural gas prices, risk management techniques are of utmost importance for stakeholders of this commodity, particularly its users. Amidst uncertainty, modern techniques and strategies, including market-based risk management financial instruments like ‘Natural Gas Futures’, offered on the MCX platform can improve efficiencies and consolidate competitiveness through price risk management.

Factors Influencing the Market

  • International natural gas inventory data
  • US weather conditions
  • Price of crude oil
  • Industrial and residential demand in the U.S.

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