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Home/North West Europe Gas System Performance – February 2019

North West Europe Gas System Performance – February 2019

Aurora’s gas system performance report provides a monthly snapshot of key operating characteristics for the European gas market. The key statistics include prices, volumes, trade, suppliers market share, indigenous production flexibility and storage provision for security of supply.

Highlights of our February 2019 report include:

  1. Gas prices: Prices fell by 16% month-on-month, continuing the trend seen in earlier months. Warmer weather in Asia and Europe decreased demand for LNG cargoes, allowing the glut to be redirected to Europe at continuing lower prices.
  2. Consumption: Gross consumption across NW Europe was down 12% year-on-year, driven primarily by Germany (-1.1 bcm), France (-1.2 bcm), UK (-1.2 bcm) and Netherlands (-1.1 bcm). The decline in France and Germany was driven approximately equally by residential and power sectors, whilst in Netherlands and UK, it was mainly the residential and commercial sector which decreased consumption.
  3. Supply: LNG imports increased by 2.5 bcm year-on-year, at the expense of Russian and Norwegian pipeline supply, which both decreased by 0.3 bcm across the same time period. Storage contributed 17% of supply, whilst Norway (27% supply share) beat Russia (26% supply share) in its contribution to European supply.
    • Indigenous production: Dutch production was down 22% year-on-year, due to the lower production cap and 1.1 bcm lower domestic demand. GB production was 15% lower month-on-month, driven by a 1.2 bcm decrease in domestic demand over the same period.
    • Pipeline imports: Total pipeline imports were down 4% year-on-year. Within the Russian pipeline network, Polish, Czech and Austrian routes all saw a decrease of 0.1 bcm. Norwegian flows were 0.4 bcm lower than a year ago, due to cheaper LNG imports.
    • Whilst LNG volumes were 11% lower month-on-month across NW Europe as a whole due to lower demand, France saw regasification terminal utilisation increase by 7% across the same time period, with the additional 880 mcm of LNG compensating for the 820 mcm decline in Russian pipeline gas via Germany.1 Terminal utilisations were above the annual average for Netherlands, France, Belgium and UK.
  4. Storage: Storage withdrawals were down almost 50% month-on-month and down 58% year-on-year, as increased LNG was the main contributor to meeting marginal winter demand. Gas storage stocks were however, heading towards the lower part of the trailing 5 year min-max window.

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