Natural gas demand in Europe: The impacts of COVID-19 and other influences in 2020
A warm start to the year coupled with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have depressed gas demand in Europe, which is likely to have declined by about 8 per cent year on year in the first five months of 2020. What can be expected for the rest of the year? The risks surrounding economic and energy/gas demand forecasts seem very large and concentrated on the downside. But all in all, while governments focus on immediate recovery and gas continues to benefit from (very) low gas prices (about $2/MMBtu), various drivers show that the impact on gas demand in 2020 could be relatively minor. On the other hand, the future of fossil gas demand in Europe seems even more uncertain as recovery measures may impact demand for unabated gas even earlier than previously anticipated and maybe as soon as the mid the 2020s.