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 data preliminary releases from Cedigaz, the international association for gas information.
Mainly of fossil origin, world gas consumption fell to 4,000 billion m3 “in a context of an unprecedented energy crisis and high inflation”, Cedigaz underlined in a press release dated May 15.
< p> This is a drop that can be described as historic, according to the association contacted 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 a hundred members in 40 countries.< /p>
“The year 2022 notably saw the biggest drop in EU gas consumption in history, down 13% to 353 billion m3”, according to the association.< /p>
Significant declines 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 slowing Chinese economy and skyrocketing gas prices, which dampened demand in industry and sparked a drive for energy conservation.
As Russian gas played a “dominant role” in Europe's energy supply, pipeline exports to Europe “have fallen to their lowest level since the mid-1980s, resulting in a loss of 77 billion m3, the equivalent of 20% of EU gas consumption in 2021,” explains Cedigaz.
In this context, global natural gas production has 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).