In recent years, natural gas has
increasingly gained in geopolitical
significance. Gas is no longer a
marginal fuel but a fuel of choice for
many energy consumers. Driven by the
availability of shale gas, the growth of
the natural gas industry is firmly linked
to growing demand in the power sector
from non-traditional places like China,
developing Asia and the Middle East,
while traditional domains of North
America and Europe maintain the
most substantial absolute increases in
gas use. Gas consumption has become
more widespread as its transportation
across vast distances has become
possible through improved pipeline
construction and as LNG shipped in
large tankers.