European LNG imports reach record in April
European imports of natural gas as LNG averaged a record 16.5bn ft3/day in April, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said June 14, citing statistics from CEDIGAZ, and on some days during the month exceeded 19bn ft3/day.
The surge in imports was driven by historically low levels of gas in storage on the continent, exacerbated by wide-spread efforts to wean EU economies off piped gas imports from Russia in the wake of Moscow’s February invasion of Ukraine.
“Traditional sources of natural gas (and some substitute fuels) delivered by pipeline have not been meeting Europe’s energy needs, and spot natural gas prices at major European hubs have generally been higher than spot prices in other markets,” the EIA said in its Today in Energy report. “The higher spot prices in Europe have resulted in more imports from suppliers with destination flexibility in their contracts, particularly from the US.”
Through the first five months of this year, the EU and UK imported an average of 14.9bn ft3/day of natural gas as LNG, 5.9bn ft3/day, or 66% higher, than the annual average in 2021 and 4.7bn ft3/day more than the pre-Covid high of 10.7bn ft3/day in 2019, the EIA said, again citing data from CEDIGAZ.
Through the same five-month period, volumes of regasified LNG delivered to France, Belgium and the Netherlands averaged 5.8bn ft3/day, exceeding the nameplate capacity of regas facilities and reaching a record high utilisation of 115% in April.