Milder weather in Northwest Europe cut LDZ gas demand in November, while high wind generation pushed some gas out of the generation mix. Strong Russian and Norwegian flows boosted pipeline supply y/y in most markets. However, LNG sendout edged down y/y, with the exception of Spain, as higher-priced LNG market pulled cargoes away from NW Europe, with ports making several reloads. NW European gas inventories ended November at 40.8 bcm, down by 2.8 bcm y/y, while Spanish and Italian stocks were 18.4 bcm, flat y/y.
UK consumption was down by 1.12 bcm y/y last month, as mild weather cut LDZ demand by 0.80 bcm y/y to 1.73 bcm and high wind generation cut gas into power by 0.28 bcm y/y to 1.85 bcm. Net pipeline supply was down by 0.94 bcm y/y at 3.87 bcm, mostly because of a 1.03 bcm y/y drop in total flows from the Netherlands and Belgium. Despite slower y/y port receipts in November, LNG sendout was up by a small 30 mcm because high October deliveries had filled stocks.
End-user gas demand in the combined region of France, the Netherlands and Belgium was down slightly y/y due to lower LDZ demand, while power sector gas demand was flat y/y. Aggregate LNG sendout edged down by 30 mcm y/y as ports made a number of reloads to higher-priced LNG markets in Asia. Pipeline supply into France was boosted by strong imports from Norway and Belgium, while net Dutch pipeline exports fell alongside a sharp drop in domestic production.
German end-user supply was up by 0.65 bcm y/y at 9.16 bcm. Russian flows to Germany were up by 33% y/y at 5 bcm, offsetting lower Norwegian and Dutch receipts and supporting strong exports to the Czech Republic. Milder weather helped curb aggregate German demand by 0.50 bcm y/y to 9.58 bcm.
Aggregate Spanish gas demand reached a five-year high of 3.19 bcm last month as cold weather boosted LDZ demand and low hydro generation pushed gas into power. Gas-fired output rose by 1.19 TWh (35%) y/y to 4.62 TWh, offsetting a 1 TWh y/y drop in hydro generation. Hydro stocks were at 26% capacity by end-November, some 40 percentage points below the 10-year average, while LNG sendout was up by 0.25 bcm y/y at 1.54 bcm, the highest since September 2012.
Low hydro levels also supported gas into power in Italy, pushing aggregate gas demand up by 0.43 bcm y/y to 7.8 bcm. Hydro stocks were 15% lower y/y as of 20 November, and power sector demand was up by 0.15 bcm y/y to 2.54 bcm last month. Algerian pipeline supply rose by 0.15 bcm y/y to 2.41 bcm, while European pipeline imports slipped by 0.14 bcm y/y to 2.82 bcm, and LNG sendout was broadly flat y/y.
|European consumption and end-user supply, bcm|
|Source: Country SOs, GIE, Energy Aspects|