The COVID-19 pandemic had a critical impact on the global natural gas market in 2020. Both supply and demand contracted along with economic activity as governments across the world imposed restrictive measures to mitigate the virus’ impact.

World natural gas production by region, 1973-2020


Global natural gas production in 2020 fell by 2.5%, down to 4014 Bcm, its first decline since the financial crisis.

Since that previous drop in 2009, global natural gas production had expanded by almost 1 Tcm, with an annually compounded growth rate of 2.5%.

At the OECD level, both OECD Americas and OECD Europe contributed to the 26.1 Bcm cut in natural gas production in 2020, driven respectively by the USA (-1.4% y-o-y, -13.5 Bcm) and the Netherlands (-27.9% y-o-y, -9.3 Bcm), following the continuous enforcement of production caps on the Groningen field.

OECD Asia and Oceania partially balanced this trend, with a 11.5 Bcm increase (+7.6% y-o-y) in natural gas production in 2020, just over half of the previous year’s growth.