The investments for fostering an international gas market will be large with substantial price risk, whether they are major pipelines, LNG facilities, or advanced gas-to-liquid (GTL) processes. Better corporate and policy decisions will need to make the connections between different regional markets in order to understand important linkages between gas prices, production, transportation and use in different countries.
Although politics, institutions and local conditions will continue to influence the viability of individual natural gas projects, governments and business practices are beginning to reduce the barriers that previously kept regional natural gas markets balkanized. Cross-country trade has grown dramatically in the last few years and is expected to represent significant shares of future total gas use. The coming decades will be a transition period, as large and lumpy capital investments will seek to connect large supply regions with growing demand markets.