Gas consumption drops, reflecting hit to tourism, travel industry

A new report by the Energy Ministry details the drops in the consumption of various gasses from 2019 to 2020, reflecting the hit the travel and tourism industry took from the pandemic.

Stores in Jerusalem's Mamilla mall are seen closed amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, on January 14, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Stores in Jerusalem's Mamilla mall are seen closed amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, on January 14, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A report published by the Energy Ministry on Tuesday shows a massive drop of 55% in kerosene use, commonly used for fuel jets, between 2019 and 2020, due to the airport closures and end to international travel brought on by the pandemic.
Overall, natural gas and oil consumption dropped 14% in Israel, more than the drop in the rest of the world at 9%. The data in the report is reflective of Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority.
In particular, it is estimated that international travel will not have the ability to resume until all countries are vaccinated, or we "reach herd immunity, [by] about two-thirds of the world population - four billion to five billion people" receiving both vaccine doses, Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton told The Jerusalem Post on Friday. That is eight to ten billion doses.
While vaccination rollouts have been successfully initiated in developing countries – including, notably, Israel – they have not in poor countries, weighing heavily on their already high financial strains, and mass vaccination will take a long time. As such, the world will not be able to return to its previous open skies until sometime between 2023 and 2024, health experts think.
Another drop in consumption, indicated by the shuttering of travel and tourism is in natural-gas condensate (hydrocarbon gas) at 3%, commonly used by the catering and hotel industry.
The report also showed a record-low influx of and demand for gas, diesel and jet fuel.
According to the report, the contrast between 2019 and 2020 is significant, with gasoline consumption falling by 13%, from 916,000 to 831,000 tons, and diesel by 10% – from 3.51 million to 3.17 m.
The ministry noted the obvious link between the situation and the drop in consumption of various gases by a range of industries, as they have effectively shut down due to three lockdowns in the span of 10 months.
"We live in a global world, with or without realizing it," Michael Edelstein, a professor of Population Health at Bar-Ilan University's Faculty of Medicine, told the Post on Friday. "A lot of our lives rely on interconnectivity."

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.