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German Natural Gas Imports Slump By 18% In January-August

Germany’s natural gas imports declined by 17.9% between January and August compared to the same period last year, BDEW, the German utility industry association, said on Thursday.

Total gas demand in Germany has dropped so far this year amid calls for energy savings and high prices.

Germany has turned to importing more gas from Norway and the Netherlands, as well as LNG via newly-launched LNG import terminals, to compensate for the lack of Russian gas which the country hasn’t received for a year now, since the beginning of September.

In May 2022, Russia accounted for 37% of the gas consumed in Germany, before dropping to zero at the start of September 2022, BDEW said.

Back then, Nord Stream flows were halted by Gazprom, weeks before the still unexplained sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea at the end of September.

Replacing Russian gas was and is a huge challenge for the energy industry, BDEW said this week.

“Today, a year later, Germany can be reasonably optimistic about the gas supply situation in the coming winter,” the association added.

Gas storage tanks in Germany are now 93% full, BDEW managing director Kerstin Andreae said in a statement.

“That gives us security, but this is no guarantee that we will get through this winter well. We're not out of the woods yet,” Andreae added, calling for energy savings in the coming months, too.

Germany expects natural gas prices to remain high until at least 2027, the government said earlier this month in a report on the measures to mitigate high energy costs for households.

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A week earlier, INES, the group of German gas storage operators, said in its August gas update that Germany would continue to be at risk of natural gas shortages until the 2026/2027 winter season unless it takes measures to add LNG terminals, additional gas storage capacity, or pipelines.

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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