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Home/North West Europe Gas System Performance – January 2019

North West Europe Gas System Performance – January 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 January 2019 report include:

  1. Gas prices: Prices fell by 8% month-on-month, continuing the trend seen in earlier months. The continuing warmer weather in Asia meant that LNG cargoes were redirected to Europe.
  2. Consumption: Gross consumption across NW Europe was up 6% year-on-year, driven primarily by increases in Germany (+2 bcm), GB and Belgium (~0.33 bcm each). The bulk of the increase in German consumption came from non-power (862 mcm vs 412 mcm for power), whilst it was the residential and commercial sector (1130 mcm) which caused the increase in GB (vs 494 mcm for power).
  3. Supply: LNG imports (particularly from the US) increased by 3.0 bcm year-on-year, at the expense of Russian pipeline supply, which decreased by 0.1 bcm across the same time period. Storage contributed almost a quarter of the European supply mix, with Russian and Norwegian pipeline gas each sharing ~25% each.
  4. Indigenous production: Dutch production was down 8% year-on-year, due to the lower production cap amid the ongoing debate about ending Groningen production well before 2030. GB production was 9% higher month-on-month, driven by a 1.6 bcm uptick in domestic demand over the same period.
  5. Pipeline imports: Total pipeline imports were broadly unchanged year-on-year, with a 0.1 bcm increase in Norwegian flows, compensating for a similar decline in Russian flows. Within the Russian flows, the Polish route saw a decline of 240 mcm year-on-year, whilst the Austrian and Czech routes both saw increases of ~80 mcm each across the same time period.
  6. LNG: After a decline in December, LNG imports to Belgium increased once again, causing import terminal utilisation to increase 200% month-on-month. The 277 mcm increase in LNG flows across this time period corresponded to a 360 mcm increase in demand (which was also met by increases in pipeline flows from Netherlands and increased storage withdrawal).
  7. Storage: Storage withdrawals were up over 100% month-on-month and almost a quarter year-on-year, but storage withdrawals were still contributing a similar share of the European gas supply mix as January 2018. Stocks were comfortably within the trailing 5 year min-max window.

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