Here is a summary of Rystad’s key findings:
- Global natural gas production is estimated to have dropped by 3.6% in 2020 as low oil and gas prices led to lower exploration and production. Rystad Energy estimates the total produced figure at around 3918 billion m3 for the year.
- North America is the gas-producing region that the pandemic impacted the most, with production estimated to have dropped by 47 billion m3 from 2019 to 1103 billion m3 in 2020.
- Despite the lockdowns, gas demand was shielded by low prices which made gas competitive in the power sector, preventing a larger drop. Demand for gas therefore did not fall as much as for oil, recording only a 2.5% decline to an estimated 3840 billion m3.
- While demand in Asia remained relatively strong, European consumption was more severely affected, dropping around 7% year-on-year, or by around 40 billion m3, followed by Africa with 26 billion m3.
- Liquefaction capacity grew 5% in 2020, reaching 464 million tpy, as new plants started operations, mainly in the US. US capacity is estimated to have reached 71 million tpy (+42%) with the commissioning of trains at Cameron, Corpus Christi, Elba Island, and Freeport. Russian capacity reached 29 million tpy.
- Despite lockdowns, global LNG imports grew 3% to 363 million t in 2020. Asian LNG demand grew 4% year-on-year, mainly driven by China. Other buyers in the region also took advantage of low prices to substitute coal in power. European imports remained strong during the first half of the year as buyers nominated less Russian piped gas.