British-Dutch oil and gas giant Shell saw a record 12.5% rise in demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2019, according to its annual review.
In Europe, demand for LNG increased by 74%, significantly more than was forecast. The company explained this as being part of a global switch from coal to gas.
European countries drove the demand for LNG imports. The UK saw the biggest increase in LNG net imports during 2019 as it continued to phase out coal use. It imported over 8,000 tonnes more LNG than the year before.
The report predicts European import growth to be a temporary anomaly, which will shrink over coming years.
India imports the biggest volume of LNG, with over 30bn cubic metres a year.
Demand from China grew by 14%, continuing a steady rise of 12% since 2010. Combined, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan demanded 19% more LNG.
Consumption declined in Japan and South Korea due to warmer winters and greater nuclear capacity in 2019.