Pandemic expected to affect natural gas only in short term, says Baker Institute expert


Jeff Falk

Avery Ruxer Franklin

Pandemic expected to affect natural gas only in short term, says Baker Institute expert
Mikulska: Current low prices could help in long term

HOUSTON – (April 1, 2020) – Like oil, global natural gas prices have fallen. The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to an already low demand, but this might be only for the short term, according to an expert in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Anna Mikulska, a nonresident fellow in energy studies at the Baker Institute, is available to talk with journalists about the natural gas market.

Credit: University

Natural gas is transforming into a more global commodity thanks to technological advances and lower costs of extraction. But natural gas has seen a lower global demand recently, which has affected pricing, Mikulska said. If the COVID-19 economic slowdown edges off, demand may recover and even increase with the support of low prices, she said.

“It is valuable to step back and look at the large, long-term picture,” Mikulska wrote in a Forbes opinion piece today. “As per a 2015 DOE report by researchers at Oxford Economics and the Baker Institute, there has been a prior expectation of rather soft demand until at least the mid-2020s. While the demand will be admittedly much softer than expected due to COVID-19, the effect will be rather short-term and as such should not change the report’s expectations about demand growth and a much tighter global gas market starting in the mid-to-late 2020s.”

Mikulska’s research focuses on the geopolitics of natural gas within the European Union, former Soviet Bloc and Russia. Her current interests include the potential use of natural gas as a geoeconomic tool and investigating ways to leverage U.S. LNG exports to bolster European energy security.

To schedule an interview with Mikulska or for more information, contact Avery Franklin, media relations specialist at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.


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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks as the No. 2 university-affiliated think tank in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Avery Ruxer Franklin

Avery is a media relations specialist in the Office of Public Affairs.