Hydrocarbons are the largest global energy source, and demand for them has been growing rapidly in the past decade. Unfortunately, that progress was stunted with the recent global pandemic that shut down economies and societies worldwide. As the world recovers from the coronavirus, hydrocarbons will be in high demand in order to fuel the progress of the human race. The final piece of our four part series on post-COVID oil demand will investigate the overall change in global oil demand in a post-COVID world.
The dual black swan events of the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price war have created a unique analytical opportunity within petroleum products. As oil prices crashed, natural gas prices have largely remained unchanged due to the markets in which the commodities are used. Transportation which is the main use of oil has almost entirely stopped, whereas electricity generation and heating, the destination for most natural gases has remained similar to pre-2020 levels. Such modifications to consumption caused markets to go haywire and commodity prices to crash. With crude production cuts now occurring at a faster pace than anticipated and states lifting restrictions, supply and demand dynamics for liquids compared to natural gas has changed since April. As the United States begins returning to normal, an update to these commodity market assumptions is in order.