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Gas pumping into UGS facilities, LNG imports in Europe hit record in May
The pumping of gas into European underground gas storage (UGS) facilities in May not only reached a record level for this month, but hit a fresh high since records started in 2011, according to data provided by Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE). LNG imports to Europe also reached a record level last month.
Some 15.6 bln cubic meters of gas were pumped into European UGS facilities in May, up by 52% compared with last year's pumping in the same period and by 11.5% compared with the previous record of May 2018. The result was also 3.9% higher than the previous absolute pumping record of August 2017.
Gas reserves in European gas storage facilities as of May 31 were up to 47.13%, which is 2.5 percentage points lower than the average level as of the same date over the last five years, but 9.5 percentage points higher than as of the same date late year. Slightly over 50 bln cubic meters of gas are currently stored in them. Earlier, the European Commission (EC) suggested that the occupancy rate be introduced for EU gas storage facilities of 80% as of October 1, and of 90% as of November 1. Consequently, EU states have fulfilled the 90% pumping plan by more than half by the beginning of summer.
Portugal and Poland have been filling their storage facilities with gas most actively as they have reached 92.49% and 94.61% reserves levels, respectively. UGS facilities in Germany are 48.8% full, in France - 52.04%, in Italy - 49.86%, in the Netherlands - 39.86%, in Bulgaria - 22.41%, in Denmark - 54.3%, in Hungary - 30.66%, in Austria - 32.77%, in the Czech Republic - 62.92%, in Belgium - 36.96%.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from terminals to Europe's gas transport system in May also hit record highs for this month, reaching 10.8 bln cubic meters, which exceeds the previous record of 10.27 bln cubic meters of May 2020. LNG reserves in EU states are 13% higher now than in 2021, and 12% higher than a five-year average. That said, GIE no longer considers data on UGS and LNG terminals in the UK starting February 13.
Facilities on LNG regasification and its further pumping into European pipelines are loaded by 66% of maximum level now.
Consequently, May's LNG supplies record was the fourth monthly record in 2022, whereas the previous ones were achieved in April, March and January (becoming an absolute all-time high). Total LNG deliveries from terminals to Europe's gas transport system have reached around 52.45 bln cubic meters year-to-date. To compare, Gazprom exported 61 bln cubic meters of gas to non-CIS states (including China) in the same period.
Due to record imports by EU countries the share of LNG in the total volume of gas supplies to Europe has been the largest this year, reaching 29%, according to data provided by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) as of May 24. The second-largest share of 26% is held by gas supplies from the east (Russian gas, gas supplies from Ukraine, as well as withdrawal of their gas from Ukrainian underground storage facilities by European companies), followed by supplies from the North Sea (mainly Norway's gas), which amounted to 22%. Meanwhile, as of May the share of LNG was even higher reaching 31%, whereas starting May 10 gas supplies from Norway (24%) even surpassed Russian gas deliveries (23.9%).
[Source: Tass, Moscow, 02Jun22]
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