10 Feb 2022, 13:48
Benjamin Wehrmann

European LNG imports reach record high in January

Clean Energy Wire

European imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) climbed to a monthly record in January 2022, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), with at least 8.1 million tonnes arriving at the 37 European terminals. Germany does not currently have its own terminal but has considered constructing a new one due to pressure from the previous US government to reduce its reliance on Russian gas. The Trump administration also wanted Germany to open its market to more LNG, of which the US is a major producer. However, the highly interconnected European market alreadys allows the country to source the fuel from terminals in neighbouring states, the industry lobby group said. Besides the US, major exporting countries include Qatar and Australia. The majority of the gas is consumed in east Asia, but European imports have grown quickly in recent years. However, despite January’s record, the existing European LNG terminals were still operating below their full capacity, the BDEW said.

Sharply rising energy costs due to gas shortages have troubled European customers for several months, and tensions at the Russian-Ukrainian border have intensified fears that a further reduction of deliveries from Russia might add further pressure. High gas prices have led to providers rerouting ships to Europe, and the uncertain future of the controversial gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 may have led to hopes among LNG exporters that European countries will import more of their gas.

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