Gas tanks are currently being refilled to be prepared for the upcoming winter as the consumption of stored gas in Europe has reached its peak.
According to data from GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe), European gas tank storage reached a low of 55.36% full on April 1 and has since increased to 57.94% full as of April 23.
Low usage of gas gives Russia no chance to blackmail
This year’s gas usage was exceptionally low, and the peak level—when gas tanks were more than 50% full—was the highest storage level after the heating season in at least five years.
In 2018, fewer than 18% of Europe’s storage capacity was filled towards the end of the heating season. Usually, the EU’s tanks are between 25% and 35% filled after the season is over.
Tanks in Europe have been able to stay so full because of the US and Qatar’s increasing imports of LNG. The EU’s demand that the tanks be filled to 90% capacity by November 1 to avert another energy crisis this year is greatly lessened by half-full tanks towards the conclusion of the heating season.
This month, the European Commission reiterated its demand that Europe reduces gas use by 15% from the long-term average. This will result in a sizable surplus that will make it simpler to fill the tanks on schedule.
Buying LNG in Asia and the US to exhaust the war machine
Europe will be adequately supplied with LNG throughout the summer since purchasers must achieve storage goals and because Asia’s gas use is still being used sparingly.
Europe has been significantly increasing its storage capacity as a result of the enormous remaking of its energy conflict with Russia and the destruction of the Nord Stream gas pipelines last September. Since September, more than 45 billion cubic meters of additional capacity have been added in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Finland, and Turkey; later this year, more development plans in France and Greece are anticipated to be completed.
To reach storage goals, EU nations presently need to inject about 34 bcm of gas by the beginning of November, which is less than the 64 bcm required at the same time last year.
Soon Europe will secure its’ gas demand for winter 2024
Gas consumption in Europe normally ranges between 450 and 500 bcm per year. Prior to the conflict, Russia exported over 150 bcm of gas to Europe annually, but that number fell to 60 bcm in 2022 and is projected to decrease to 25 bcm this year via the last remaining pipelines that pass through war-torn Ukraine and Turkey.
In 2022, Europe purchased a record 130 bcm of LNG, a 60% increase over the 80 bcm it imported in 2021. This year, new liquefaction projects in the US and Africa are likely to contribute significantly to the projected 23 bcm growth in global LNG production.
The 90% goal could be reached as soon as late August or early September if the tanks are filled at the current rate.