Versatility of use, transportation infrastructures and relatively contained emissions of pollutants make gas an energy resource whose consumption has constantly been on the rise since World War II. Producer countries are also those with the highest levels of consumption, with the United States and Russia still at the top, which alone constitute a third of the total.
There are essentially two types of final uses for gas: an energy-related purpose (heat, production of electric energy, transportation) and non-energy-related. In the first, which takes up a majority of production, uses can be further divided into industrial, residential, commercial and for public services. In the second, gas is used as a component in the industrial processes of sectors like chemistry, petrochemistry and mining. After coal, natural gas holds second place in the primary energy resources used for producing electric energy.
Nations such as Algeria and the United Arab Emirates, major producers of gas, fulfil almost entirely their domestic electric requirements with this resource, unlike most other countries, including China, France and India, where coal, nuclear power and oil are still the most used resources. In the commercial and residential sectors, gas is used for heating spaces and domestic water. After a decisive increase that lasted until the 2000s, today the trend is slightly waning. The industrial sector is more stable, while the transportation sector is gradually growing thanks to the recent use of LNG, but it is still extremely minor compared to oil.