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European demand for natural gas remained near the bottom of the five-year seasonal levels in August, helping inventories end the month at around 93% full, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday.
Europe’s gas demand, measured in consumption in the EU and the UK, has trended lower for most of the past year amid energy savings measures, high prices last year, and demand destruction from slowing industrial activity.
In August, the latest available data in JODI, natural gas demand in the EU and the UK rose slightly but remained at the bottom of the five-year seasonal range.
Global gas demand gains were driven by the United States, Canada, India, and Qatar, according to the JODI oil and gas data highlights published today.
At the same time, global gas inventories increased seasonally by 11.5 bcm month-on-month and remained near the top of the five-year range, the data showed.
Ahead of the 2023/2024 winter, gas storage sites in the EU were 98% full as of October 14, according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe. Europe hit its target to have storage 90% full by November 1 months in advance.
Despite the high storage levels, concerns about supply sent Europe’s benchmark natural gas prices soaring last week.
A suspected sabotage on a Finland-Estonia offshore gas pipeline, fears of low gas supply from the Eastern Mediterranean due to the Hamas-Israel war, and the renewed threat of strikes at Chevron’s two LNG export terminals in Australia, Gorgon and Wheatstone, which account for around 7% of global LNG supply, rattled the market last week.
This week, the front-month Dutch TTF Natural Gas Futures, the benchmark for Europe’s gas trading, started Monday trade down by 6.6% as of 11:37 a.m. GMT, amid strong flows of LNG cargoes to Europe and high inventories at storage sites.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.