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    LNG bottlenecks in Spain ease, tankers resume offloading normally


    November 27, 2022 - Alyssa McMurtry |

     

      OVIEDO, Spain

      Spanish gas grid operator Enagas said on Friday that normality has been restored in deliveries of liquified natural gas, or LNG, to Spanish ports.

      In-mid October, Enagas declared an "exceptional operating situation," warning that new LNG shipments could suffer from delays in offloading and that any requests to unload extra LNG would be denied because Spain's gas reserves were too full.

      When Enagas first issued the notification, the situation was expected to last until early November. However, the situation was postponed for weeks longer.

      In October, Enagas said there was an unexpected "mismatch" between supply and demand.

      Unseasonably warm temperatures combined with a surprisingly dramatic drop in industrial demand meant the country was not consuming as much natural gas as forecast.

      At the same time, Spain, home to 44% of Europe's LNG storage capacity, had intentionally filled reserves to prepare for a winter in which Russia could entirely cut off gas supplies to the EU.

      Similar situations played out in other European countries, causing LNG tankers to travel to other markets and natural gas prices to plummet.

      In late August, Dutch TTF natural gas futures, often viewed as the European benchmark price, peaked for the year at nearly E350 ($364) per megawatt hour.

      Since then, the price has sunken dramatically, touching the bottom at E98 and currently sitting at E123.

      After registering the hottest October on record, cooler temperatures are finally setting in across Spain. The weather and lower energy prices are contributing to an uptick in natural gas demand.

      However, the colder, blustery weather has also helped fuel renewable generation in Spain.

      On Monday, Spain smashed its previous record for wind power generation. At one point in the evening, wind was behind 53% of Spain's electricity production.

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