IEA: The Gas markets will need years to recover from the (Corona) shock

Reports of the International Energy Agency indicate that the repercussions of the new Corona virus (Covid 19) pandemic on the global economy have led to a “historical shock” for global gas markets, which has caused a significant decrease in demand, and that recovery from them will take years.

 In its report on the gas sector, the Agency expected that the global demand for gas in 2020 will decrease by 4%, equivalent to 150 billion cubic meters, which is twice the decline that occurred after the financial crisis in 2008.

 The agency (which is based in Paris) expects for the whole year that more mature markets in all of Europe, North America and Asia will witness the largest declines, which represents 75% of the total decrease in gas demand in 2020.

 The agency stressed that the gas sector may be less affected by the coronavirus pandemic compared to oil and coal sectors, but it is far from immunity from the current crisis, explaining that the decrease in demand represents a fundamental shift in a sector accustomed to strong increases in demand.

 The report predicted a recovery in 2021, but warned that there were no grounds to assume a quick return to the pre-crisis path. The Agency’s Director General, Fatih Birol, warned that despite the expected recovery in the next two years, “this does not mean that the gas sector will return to business as usual, as the Covid-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on future market developments, declining growth rates and increasing uncertainty.”

 The report indicated that the recovery in demand will occur to a large extent in emerging economies in Asia, led by China and India, and by relying on the growth of economic and industrial activities in these countries, because the industry is the largest consumer of natural gas.

 The report of the IEA indicates that the current coronavirus crisis and its economic repercussions will lead to a loss of 75 billion cubic meters of gas demand by 2025, which is equivalent to all the gains in demand achieved during 2019.