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Gas demand growth in Europe nearly erased as COVID-19 sends continent into lockdown

European gas demand in 2020 is likely to drop by 0.7% compared to the pre-coronavirus forecast, according to Rystad Energy’s most likely scenario. Growth will be limited to just about 2 billion cubic meters (bcm) year-on-year, short of previous expectations for a 6 bcm increase. 

The continent’s gas demand for last year is calculated at 554 bcm and Rystad Energy has now revised its 2020 forecast to 556 bcm, down from 560 bcm before coronavirus-related restrictions were put in place.

Rystad Energy’s most likely scenario assumes most of the continent’s countries go into lockdown for 30 days during the two-month period of March and April.

As people stay home and businesses close their doors, demand will decrease for power generation and for burning in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, Rystad Energy says.