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Europe’s LNG Imports Set To Surge By 30% In November

Amid expected higher demand at the start of the heating season, LNG imports into northwest Europe are expected to soar by 30% in November compared to October, Montel reported on Wednesday, citing preliminary estimates from LSEG.  

With winter heating demand kicking in, LNG imports are set to rise materially in November, although they would be lower than in the same month of 2022 when Europe was scrambling to get its hands on LNG cargoes to replace pipeline Russian gas.  

Next month, northwest Europe is estimated to import around 243 mcm/day, headed to the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the UK, per the LSEG projections.  

“The heating demand kicks in and there are forecasts of colder weather,” Wayne Bryan, head of European gas at LSEG, told Montel.

The estimated November imports would be 15% lower than in November 2022.

Weather and weather forecasts from November onwards will be the driving force of LNG imports into Europe, and also the biggest unknowns for European gas consumption this winter.

Europe has reduced its gas consumption over the past year, due to energy saving and to lower industrial demand due to high prices and demand destruction.

Some of the lost European demand for natural gas due to the energy crisis and record-high prices could never return, Vitol Group’s chief executive Russel Hardy said last week.

“For gas, demand has plummeted in Europe, with double-digit percentage reductions. We expect some of the lost demand to be permanent,” Hardy told the Energy Intelligence Forum in London.  

Gas demand in the EU was 12% lower in 2022 than the 2019-2021 average, driven by falling industrial and household gas demand, researchers at Brussels-based think tank Bruegel wrote earlier this month.

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In 2023, the greater availability of alternative power generation helped with significant gas demand reduction in the power sector, too.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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