Saudi Arabia’s oil burn is on course to edge up for the second consecutive year in 2020, potentially setting a new annual record. The latest statistics from Jodi (MEES, 18 December) show that direct crude burn dropped sharply in October to below 2019-levels, but that this was partially offset by an increase in fuel oil burn.

The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated typical seasonal trends in the GCC states this year. Electricity demand always surges in the summer as residents turn to air conditioning units for respite from the heat, but this is typically partially offset by residents fleeing to cooler climes. This year travel restrictions aimed at combatting the pandemic prevented this exodus, and Saudi Arabia and its fellow GCC states will likely set record electricity demand figures for 2020 as a result. (CONTINUED - 485 WORDS)