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Global gas consumption records a historic drop of 1.6% in 2022

Global gas consumption has seen a historic drop of 1.

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Global gas consumption records a historic drop of 1.6% in 2022

Global gas consumption has seen a historic drop of 1.6% in 2022, in the wake of the war in Ukraine and disruptions in the supply of Russian gas to Europe, according to preliminary data from Cedigaz, the association international for gas information. Of essentially fossil origin, world gas consumption fell to 4,000 billion m3 "in a context of an unprecedented energy crisis and high inflation", Cedigaz stressed in a press release dated May 15.

This is a drop that can be described as historic, according to the association joined by AFP on Wednesday, after a record increase of 4.5% in 2021 and a drop of 2% in 2020, a particular year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic. But 2022 will remain the year of "the worst natural gas and energy crisis in history due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine", recalls Cedigaz, which has around a hundred members in 40 countries.

“The year 2022 notably saw the largest drop in EU gas consumption in history, down 13% to 353 billion m3”, according to the association. Significant decreases were also recorded in the CIS countries and Ukraine (-4.6%) as well as in Asia-Oceania (-1.6%), contrasting with increases in North America and the Middle East.

Among the reasons for the drop in consumption: mild temperatures this winter that reduced “residential-commercial gas demand” in the Northern Hemisphere; and the slowdown in the Chinese economy and skyrocketing gas prices, which dampened industrial demand and led to energy conservation.

While Russian gas played a 'predominant role' in Europe's energy supply, pipeline exports to Europe 'slumped to the lowest level seen since the mid-1980s, resulting in a loss of 77 billion m3 , or the equivalent of 20% of gas consumption in the EU in 2021”, explains Cedigaz. Against this backdrop, global natural gas production remained stable. “The sharp loss in Russian gas sales was offset by strong production growth in the United States (41 billion m3), thanks to “a rapid ramp-up of LNG supplies” (liquefied natural gas).

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