Royal Dutch Shell plc, one of the leading natural gas traders in the world, said Thursday consumption held steady in 2020 despite Covid-19 and is on course to expand as economies recover. However, a dearth in sanctioned projects is forecast to create a supply gap. 

According to Shell’s annual global liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade report, consumption increased to 360 million metric tons (mmt) in 2020, versus 358 mmt in 2019. 

“LNG provided flexible energy which the world needed during the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrating its resilience and ability to power people’s lives in these unprecedented times,” said Shell’s Maarten Wetselaar, director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions.

“Around the world, countries and companies, including Shell, are adopting net-zero emissions targets and seeking to create lower-carbon energy systems. As the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, natural gas and LNG have a central role to play in delivering the energy the world needs and helping power progress towards these targets.” 

Shell definitely has some skin in the game. 

Earlier this month, the Anglo-Dutch supermajor announced its most ambitious makeover in its century-old history. It is throttling back oil production as it inches toward a low-carbon future, but for natural gas, the global opportunities abound. The percentage of total gas in Shell’s portfolio “is expected to rise to around 55% or more” by the end of the decade, CEO Ben van Beurden told investors at the time.