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    Europe buys more liquefied natural gas through August than in all of 2021


    September 19, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      The need to supply Russian gas before the harsh winter arrives has led Europe to look not only for alternative sources of supply via pipeline from countries such as Azerbaijan but also to look further afield, to those countries that can sell it liquefied natural gas (LNG). European countries have ramped up purchases of this fuel to such an extent that, by the end of August, they had already surpassed those they had made in all of 2021.According to data compiled by Bruegel, the Brussels-based think tank, as of mid-September, European LNG imports had totaled 104.47 million cubic meters, up from 97.73 million in 2021. Bruegel's statistic comes from data provided by the European Network of Gas Transmission System Operators (Entsog), an organization in which Europe's national gas transmission system operators (TSOs), including Spain's Enagás, are present.The increase in the flow of LNG from countries such as the United States and Nigeria has been more than notable in countries such as France and Spain, with increases in the first half of the year of 74% and 70%, respectively, according to another Bruegel analysis shown in the map attached to this information. In the case of Spain, the diplomatic crisis with Algeria due to the change in the government's position on Western Sahara and the subsequent break in relations between the two countries has led to a 40% drop in piped gas purchases from Algeria in the same period, which has been offset by the massive purchase of LNG, mainly from the United States. This rapid transition has been possible thanks to the fact that Spain has almost 25% of the regasification capacity of the entire European Union, given that its status as an "energy island" due to its scarce interconnections with the rest of the continent led it, among other measures, to make a significant investment in regasification plants.However, the country that increased its LNG purchases the most up to June was the Netherlands, with 83% after reducing its gas purchases from Norway by 26% in the period.Even before Russia indefinitely cut off gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline, and in anticipation that it would do so, the EU had set a first objective of ensuring that the gas reserves of each member state are at least 80% of their capacity next November in order to face the winter with guarantees and avoid supply cut-off scenarios such as those being considered by some countries. But it also sets a threshold of 90% for the following winter seasons and a reserve level of 85% of the total storage capacity of the EU as a whole this year.

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