The International Energy Agency, IEA, has projected a 2.8 per cent growth in the global gas demand this year, or about 110 billion cubic metres (bcm), recovering towards 2019 levels.
A senior analyst at the Agency made this projection at the European Gas conference on Tuesday.
Global gas markets posted their largest drop on record last year, with consumption falling by an estimated 100 bcm as milder weather at the start of the year and the COVID-19 pandemic slammed energy demand, the IEA’s senior natural gas analyst Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil told the virtual conference.
Still, gas demand proved more resilient than that for other energy sources such as oil, he added.
Record low Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, spot prices due to the pandemic have rebounded to record highs this year, supported by freezing temperatures and supply issues.
“Natural gas demand is more temperature sensitive than other fuels,” said Dubreuil.
He added that while global gas demand is expected to recover this year, no major rebound is expected and more mature markets will see only a gradual recovery, with some still not returning to their 2019 levels.
He also said he expected new opportunities and challenges against a backdrop of uncertain medium-term LNG demand, with about one third of active LNG contracts due to expire by 2025, while liquefaction capacity is set to grow by 20%, quadrupling the amount of current uncontracted volumes.