Cold weather y/y supported aggregate gas demand across Europe in February, increasing the stockdraw y/y. Strong Russian and Norwegian supply helped offset drops in Dutch and UKCS supply. LNG sendout was mixed—up in the UK, Spain and Belgium, but down y/y in Italy and France as higher-priced Northeast Asian markets continued to pull cargoes away from European ports. NW European stocks began March at 27.9 bcm, down by 1.3 bcm y/y.
- Aggregate UK end-user gas demand was up by 1.3 bcm (17%) y/y to 8.9 bcm. Res-com demand rose by 1.1 bcm (20%) y/y to 6.9 bcm, while power sector gas demand received a boost from lower nuclear and coal-fired generation. Aggregate supply to UK end-users was 8.3 bcm, up by 0.85 bcm (11%) y/y, as higher continental imports and LNG regasification offset lower receipts into UK terminals. UK imports from Belgium via the Interconnector were higher by a hefty 0.7 bcm (147%) y/y at 1.2 bcm, while LNG sendout totalled 0.33 bcm, up by 0.14 bcm (76%) y/y.
- Higher y/y gas demand in Belgium, France and the Netherlands encouraged a strong stockdraw in the region, widening the y/y storage gap. Res-com was the main driver, with power sector gas demand falling y/y in France and Belgium. Total Dutch output fell by 0.40 bcm (9%) y/y to 4 bcm. The y/y drop was the smallest since January 2017, suggesting that some of the cold-weather production flexibility available to Groningen was used. France balanced last month with higher gross imports from the Netherlands and Germany. LNG sendout from the region was muted.
- Net supply into Germany was 5.6 bcm last month, unchanged y/y. Hefty Russian supply offset a drop in Norwegian takes, while strong flows from Germany into the Czech Republic, France and Belgium boosted gross exports. Aggregate demand totalled 12.3 bcm, 2.2 (21%) more y/y.
- Total Spanish demand rose by 0.44 bcm (15%) y/y, driven by a 0.35 bcm (16%) y/y rise in non-power sector gas demand. Gas-fired generation rose by 0.46 TWh (30%) y/y, offsetting declines in nuclear and wind generation and driving power sector demand up by 0.09 bcm y/y to 0.40 bcm. All supply sources increased y/y. Algerian flows were 0.09 bcm higher y/y at 1.46 bcm, while French imports rose by 0.07 bcm y/y to 0.32 bcm. LNG sendout was higher by 0.20 bcm (5%) y/y.
- Lower temperatures drove Italian total gas demand to increase by 0.84 bcm y/y to 8.85 bcm, with res-com rising by 0.91 bcm y/y to 5.55 bcm. Power sector gas demand shrank by 0.11 bcm (5%) to 2.05 bcm despite a minor 0.16 TWh (1%) increase in thermal power generation, indicating more coal burning during the month. European pipeline imports into Italy increased by 0.72 bcm y/y to 3.04 bcm, more than offsetting 70 mcm lower y/y African imports and a 92 mcm y/y drop in LNG sendout.
|European consumption and end-user supply, bcm|
|Source: Country SOs, GIE, Energy Aspects|