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GECF: Gas demand could reach 2019 levels only in 2022

Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF)

BAKU, June 23 -- Gas demand could reach 2019 levels only in 2022, said Yury Sentyurin, Secretary General of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency (Trend) reported Tuesday.

It said according to the GECF’s website, Sentyurin made the remarks during the meeting with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo and the OPEC delegation via a webinar.

Speaking about the pressing issues facing the oil and gas industry, the GECF Secretary General remarked that, at present, the Forum is elaborating a new post-COVID-19 scenario, which forecasts natural gas demand to decline in 2020 by 2.8 percent in the best-case scenario and up to 6 percent in the worst-case scenario.

“Further, any recovery and anticipated rebound of the economy in 2021 is unlikely to compensate for the losses the industry has incurred, and that gas demand could reach the 2019 levels only in 2022,” said Sentyurin.

In the long run though, according to the long-term projections, the natural gas will remain an indispensable fuel for the energy transition, however gas consumption in 2050 can be 2-3 percent less (or between 100 to 200 bcm less) than the volumes the GECF forecast as recently as February 2020, he added.

Moreover, Sentyurin noted that a prolonged period of increased gas affordability provides strong economic and environmental reasons for governments in consumer countries to strategically realign energy policy towards natural gas.

“We consider the GECF-OPEC Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be a milestone in the evolving relationship between our entities,” he added.

According to Trend, the GECF and OPEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 30 October 2019, to “exchange knowledge, experience, views, information, data and practices in the areas of mutual interest.”

Areas of cooperation identified in the MoU include energy market monitoring, analysis, modelling and forecasting; energy market research studies covering the short- medium- and long-term, and their methodologies; energy market data and statistics, data and statistical operational topics (such as methodologies of data gathering, assessment and dissemination); energy initiatives and developments aimed at sustainability, along with environmental and social responsibility; and other areas and matters involving common interests and concerns.

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