The demand for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has grown by about 2% in 2020 compared to 2019 despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on overall energy sector, experts said at a virtual meeting on Wednesday.
Speaking at World LNG Virtual Summit and Awards, Vice President of Global LNG Marketing at ExxonMobil's Alex Volkov said, "it's not a huge growth, but still a solid growth" considering major disruptions as some countries implemented lockdowns that led to sharp demand declines and supply chain breakdowns.
Volkov said some of the regions and countries enjoyed much stronger growth, including China by about 10%, India at least 15% and Europe by about 5%.
He said the reason for LNG industry's well-adjusted and positive reaction was positive strategic relationships that "key buyers allowed us to address those issues in ways that are mutually beneficial for both parties."
He added that LNG sector is expected to grow by 3 to 4% per year to 2030.
- 'Natural gas provides cost-effective solution'
Recalling that natural gas plays a key role in lower carbon energy future, Volkov said can help reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by up to 60% and in a cost-efficient manner in all sectors versus other fossil fuels.
"In the long run, natural gas also provides a cost-effective solution for the intermittency, a weak point of renewables. Whenever wind or solar utilization is low, natural gas can step in, sometimes in just a few minutes, and take their place and power generation stack," he said.
Volkov noted that natural gas can also be a lower cost solution within the appropriate policy framework.
"This year actually demonstrated exactly how affordable it can be with some of the lowest prices for LNG in the last 15 - 20 years. And, we can already observe a significant and positive demand response," he said.
By Sibel Morrow