THE BIG PICTURE: Stretching the Pipeline

World natural gas demand climbed to 3,361 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2011, increasing in all regions, with the exception of Europe. Countries with the largest volumetric gains in consumption were China (21.5%), Saudi Arabia (13.2%), and Japan (11.6%). North America, led by the U.S. (2.4%), became the second-largest consumer market after Asia-Pacific. In 2011, gas demand growth was accompanied by expanding international pipeline flows (which have increased about 3.7% per year since 2009) and inter-regional transport capacity. Here are some of the longest pipelines recently built as well as noteworthy ones in the pipeline. Sources: POWER, International Energy Agency, Cedigaz

–Copy and artwork by Sonal Patel, Senior Writer