Spanish LNG imports, reloads dip in December

Spanish liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and reloads dropped in December last year, while total demand for natural gas in 2023 fell due to lower demand for power generation, according to Enagas.

LNG imports fell by 46 percent to about 15 TWh in December and accounted for 40.9 percent of the total gas imports. In November, LNG imports reached some 22.8 TWh.

Including pipeline imports from Algeria, France, and Portugal, gas imports to Spain reached about 27.2 TWh last month, down from some 38.1 TWh in December last year, Enagas said in its monthly report.

Moreover, national gas demand in December rose by 8.8 percent year-on-year to some 30.4 TWh.

Demand for power generation declined by 23.6 percent year-on-year to about 6.6 TWh last month, while conventional demand rose by 23.6 percent to 23.7 TWh, the LNG terminal operator said.

The firm previously said that August of last year marked the first time in its history that Spain has managed to fill 100 percent of its underground storage facilities.

Storage facilities were also full in October and November, and they were 91 percent full in December, according to Enagas.

Enagas operates a large network of gas pipelines and has four LNG import plants in Barcelona, Huelva, Cartagena, and Gijon.

It also owns 50 percent of the BBG regasification plant in Bilbao and 72.5 percent of the Sagunto plant, while Reganosa operates the Mugardos plant.

In August, Spanish power group Endesa delivered the first commercial cargo to the El Musel LNG terminal in Gijon.

Enagas awarded the logistics services contract to Endesa in July and it also completed the sale of a 25 percent stake in the El Musel LNG terminal to Reganosa.

Russia and US biggest LNG suppliers

The seven operational Spanish LNG regasification terminals, unloaded 17 cargoes last month, down by 14 cargoes compared to December 2022, according to Enagas.

Russia was the biggest LNG supplier to Spain in December with about 5.48 TWh, almost flat compared to the same month in the year before, followed by US with 3.7 TWh, a big drop from 12.5 TWh in December 2022.

Spanish LNG terminals received 2.62 TWh from Nigeria in December, while Qatari volumes reached 1.7 TWh. Egypt and Algeria also supplied LNG to Spain in December, the data shows.

US was the biggest supplier to Spain in October and November, Nigeria was the biggest LNG supplier to Spain in September, and the US was the biggest supplier in August. Prior to that, Russia was the biggest supplier for three months in a row.

LNG reloads and trucking

Spanish LNG terminals loaded about 1.35 TWh in December, down by 66 percent compared to some 3.94 TWh in December 2022 and also down from about 2.79 TWh in November.

The Cartagena LNG terminal reloaded about 1.16 TWh of LNG, and the rest was reloaded by the Huelva and Barcelona terminals.

Moreover, the number of truck loads at the LNG terminals rose by 17.1 percent year-on-year to 1006, the data shows.

The Cartagena LNG terminal completed 203 truck loads in December, while the Huelva terminal completed 194 truck loads and the Barcelona terminal completed 191 truck loads.

Gas demand and imports down in 2023

In 2023, total natural gas consumption in Spain amounted to 325.4 TWh, a decrease of 10.7 percent compared to the previous year, which is due to lower demand for electricity, Enagas said.

Conventional demand in private households, businesses and industry reached 229.9 TWh, with the increase largely due to a 3.9 percent rise in industrial consumption, which reached 169.8 TWh.

Demand for gas for electricity generation reached 95.6 TWh, down 30.8 percent after reaching its highest level since 2010 in 2022.

Enagas data shows that total natural gas imports fell to 397.8 TWh in 2023 from 442.9 TWh in the year before.

LNG imports reached some 272 TWh, down from some 318 TWh in 2022.

US terminals supplied about 83.8 TWh of LNG to Spain last year, Russian volumes reached 72.6 TWh, and Nigeria supplied about 53.9 TWh.

In 2023, Spain led the world’s non-producers in LNG re-exports with 22.1 TWh, Enagas said.

Reloaded volumes dropped compared to the year before.

The company previously said that the loading of LNG carriers from Spanish terminals had increased by 44.9 percent year-on-year in 2022 to 24.8 TWh.

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