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Natural gas

Natural gas is the last fossil source of energy  to be used on a global scale. For over a century, when the gas was discovered in areas that were far from the places where it could be utilized, it was preferably burnt at the gas well or freed into the atmosphere, because harnessing it in a pipeline and making it travel for many kilometres was too expensive. The situation has changed over the past forty years and today natural gas ranks third in world consumption of energy and is the fossil source with the best growth prospects. In the Seventies with the creation of transport infrastructures for importing natural gas, the producer countries and the consumers defined typical contract agreements that are reference models still today. From the Seventies up to date world consumption of gas has tripled, growing from 100 billion cubic metres to approximately 3253 cubic meters in 2009. Data updated  to 2010, indicate that Italy produces 8.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year and consumes 81 billion cubic metres a year (Source: eni, World Oil and Gas Review 2011).


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