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. 

Gains last year were driven by Asian consumption, even as the pandemic locked down economies and sucked the air out of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Though marginal, the increase in volume reflects the resilience and flexibility of the global LNG market in 2020, a year which saw losses to global GDP of several trillion dollars as economies large...