Three countries supplied almost 70 percent of European LNG imports in 2021

The United States, Qatar, and Russia supplied most of the LNG shipments to Europe in 2021, according to a new report by the US Energy Information Administration.

Combined, these three countries accounted for almost 70 percent of Europe’s total LNG imports, EIA said, citing Cedigaz data.

Europe’s largest source of LNG in 2021 became the US, accounting for 26 percent of all LNG imported by European Union member countries and the UK.

The US was followed by Qatar with 24 percent, and Russia with 20 percent.

Also, the report shows that in January 2022, the US supplied more than half of all LNG imports into Europe for the month.

Exports of LNG from the US to EU-27 and the UK increased from 3.4 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in November 2021 to 6.5 Bcf/d in January 2022.

It represents the most LNG shipped to Europe from the US on a monthly basis to date, according to the US Department of Energy’s LNG monthly reports and EIA’s estimations, based on LNG shipping data.

Three countries supplied almost 70 percent of European LNG imports in 2021
Image: EIA

Rising US LNG exports are the result of both natural gas supply challenges in Europe and the sizable price differences between natural gas produced in the US and current prices at European trading hubs, EIA said in the report.

Also, natural gas supply constraints in Europe and the low storage inventories of the past year contributed to recent increases in US LNG exports to Europe.

Europe’s natural gas imports increased in recent years due to production decline

Europe’s natural gas production has been in continuous decline because of production limits on the Groningen field in the Netherlands and declines in the mature fields in the North Sea.

To meet demand, Europe’s natural gas imports, particularly from Russia, have increased in recent years.

Pipeline flows of natural gas from Russia decreased during 2021.

Pipeline receipts from Russia at the three main entry points, Kondratki in Poland, Greifswald in Germany, and Velke Kapusany in Slovakia, averaged 10.7 Bcf/d in 2021, compared with 11.8 Bcf/d in 2020 and 14.1 Bcf/d in 2019, according to data by Refinitiv Eikon.

The three entry points combined account for 14.3 Bcf/d of import pipeline capacity from Russia.

More natural gas delivered by pipeline from Norway, which increased from 10.4 Bcf/d in 2019 and in 2020 to 11.1 Bcf/d in 2021, was not enough to offset reduced pipeline receipts from Russia, EIA said in the report.

Rise of regional natural gas prices

Supply challenges in the European market have led to rising regional prices for natural gas.

The natural gas spot price at the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) in the Netherlands, the most liquid virtual natural gas hub in Europe, has been trading at all-time high levels.

TTF price averaged $28.52 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) from September 2021 through the first week of February 2022, the report shows.

It peaked at $60.20/MMBtu on December 21, 2021.

In comparison, prior to this sharp price increase, the TTF price had averaged $9.28/MMBtu from January through August 2021, $3.28/MMBtu during 2020, $4.45/MMBtu during 2019, and $6.45/MMBtu from 2014 through 2018.

EIA said in its report that historically, spot natural gas in Europe had been traded at prices lower than LNG spot prices in Asia.

However, in recent months, natural gas prices in Europe have closely tracked LNG prices in Asia.

EIA added that on some days, the natural gas price in Europe exceeded the LNG price in Asia, attracting a higher volume of flexible LNG supplies to the European market.

Data shows that LNG imports to Europe increased in December 2021 and January 2022, averaging 10.8 Bcf/d and 14.9 Bcf/d, respectively, partly in response to the price at TTF rising above LNG spot prices in Asia.

- Advertisements -

Most Popular

QatarEnergy, ExxonMobil expect first LNG from Golden Pass plant in H1 2025

Energy giants QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil are expecting to start LNG production at their Golden Pass LNG export terminal on...

VTTI and Hoegh LNG join forces on Dutch FSRU terminal

Rotterdam-based storage terminal owner VTTI, co-owned by Vitol, IFM, and Adnoc, is joining forces with FSRU player Hoegh LNG...

Charif Souki steps down as chairman of Tellurian

US LNG firm Tellurian, the developer of the Driftwood LNG export project in Louisiana, said on Friday that its...

More News Like This

Spot LNG shipping rates, European prices continue to decline

Spot liquefied natural gas freight rates and European LNG prices continued to decline this week, according to Spark Commodities. Last week,...

US weekly LNG exports climb to 29 cargoes

US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports rose in the week ending December 6 compared to the week before, according...

Spot LNG shipping rates, European prices drop this week

Spot liquefied natural gas freight rates and European LNG prices fell this week when compared to the week before, according...

US weekly LNG exports reach 24 cargoes

US liquefaction plants shipped 24 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in the week ending November 29, while natural gas...