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European winter demand has room to rebound

The continent could take a lot more gas this winter. But not if we return to lockdown

European gas demand over winter 2020–21 should be set for substantial year-on-year growth simply on a reversion to seasonally normal cold weather, given the particularly mild winter of 2019–20. And a change in working habits—involving many traditionally office-based staff continuing to work from home—should actually further boost demand. But this expected rebound could be wiped out in a scenario where Europe again goes into widespread lockdowns to contain a resurgent spread of Covid-19. We expect aggregate European gas demand this winter to increase by c.14bn m³ year-on-year from heating demand rising into line with the ten-year average. That demand growth comes mostly from space heating

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