China will become the third largest consumer of natural gas in 2013

File photo: the natural gas pipeline from Uzbekistan to China.

In 2013 China will take the third place in the world for the consumption of gas after the U.S. and Russia, according to a forecast of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In the next five years, gas demand in China will more than double – from 130 billion cubic meters in 2011 to 273 billion cubic meters in 2017.

As noted in a press release of IEA, the volume of world trade in gas over the next five years will grow by 35 percent, in particular, the CNG. Global demand for gas will grow by 576 billion cubic meters to 3.937 trillion cubic meters. With regard to gas production from shale, the centers of the production will be China and Poland.

According to the agency, the U.S. will become the world’s largest gas producer in 2017, ahead of Russia. The agency estimated that in five years, the U.S. will produce 769 billion cubic meters of gas (in 2011 this figure amounted to 653 billion cubic meters). At the same time, gas production in Russia will increase from 659 billion cubic meters to 757 billion.

In a previous forecast made in May this year, the IEA said that by 2035 gas will rank second in the list of the most important energy resources, ahead of coal. In the current forecast, the agency noted that the gas could surpass coal in the U.S. as early as 2017.