LNG imports grew by nearly 17% in Europe in 2015
According to preliminary statistics released by Cedigaz, LNG net imports grew by nearly 17% in 2015, reaching 31.3 Mt.
Imports rose in every European LNG importing country, to the exception of France (-5.9% to 4.8 Mt, as pipeline imports from Norway and higher withdrawal from storage met the higher demand for gas) and Greece (stable imports). In the Iberian peninsula, low hydropower availability and a heatwave during the summer 2015 boosted LNG demand from the power sector: LNG imports rose by 12% in Spain (to 9 Mt in 2015) and by 16% in Portugal. They soared by nearly 32% in Italy, reaching 4.2 Mt, as Edison leveraged its 4.6 Mt/year oil-indexed contract with Qatargas (cheaper than Italian spot prices).
In the United Kingdom, net imports rose by 12% to 9.4 Mt (+20% received at South Hook), due to lower than average temperatures. In Belgium and the Netherlands, LNG imports rose by 90% (to 1.9 Mt) and 72% (to 0.6 Mt), respectively; Belgian importers took advantage of low oil-indexed prices of LNG from Qatar while LNG re-exports increased strongly in the Netherlands.
Low LNG prices benefited to Qatar, Europe's first LNG supplier, which exported 19.2 Mt of LNG to Europe (+15%), i.e. 61% of total LNG imports in Europe. Imports from Nigeria rose by 39% to 4.6 Mt (15% of total LNG supply), while LNG imports from Norway also rose (+30% to 2.2 Mt). Europe imported less from Trinidad and Tobago (-50% to 1.1 Mt) and from Algeria (-12% to 6.8 Mt).
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