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Global demand for natural gas will drop 2% in 2020 as COVID-19 lockdowns take toll
Rystad Energy expects global gas demand to total close to 3,878 billion cubic meters (Bcm) in 2020, down from 3,951 Bcm last year

Carla Sertin
May 19, 2020

Commercial and industrial demand for natural gas is declining as most countries around the world impose lockdowns to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Rystad Energy estimates global natural gas demand to fall by almost 2% this year as a result of the lower activity.

It expects global gas demand to total close to 3,878 billion cubic meters (Bcm) in 2020, down from 3,951 Bcm last year. In its pre-Covid-19 estimates, this year’s natural gas demand was expected to grow to 4,038 Bcm.

Like oil demand, gas demand is also expected to suffer as a result of the slowdown. However, low prices are shielding gas demand to some extent as the fuel remains more competitive than other sources of energy, especially in the power sector where gas use remains relatively stable in most countries.

“2020 will be the first year since 2009 where there will be no growth in consumption. This will be a hard blow for an industry accustomed to yearly growth rates of more than 3%,” says Rystad Energy’s Head of Gas and Power Markets Carlos Torres-Diaz.

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