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Continental European LNG regasification levels hit record high Mar 8

Highlights

258 million cu m sent into Continental European grids

Gate terminal sees most LNG regas so far this winter

European LNG glut comes despite Asian demand climbing

London — Continental European LNG regasification hit a record high last Friday as the recent increase in supply of the fuel into gas grids showed no signs of slowing in the short-term, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed Monday.

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A total of 258 million cu m of natural gas equivalent was send into Continental European gas grids during last Friday's gas day, moving above the previous record high seen back in late November 2010, with March on course to see a record high amount for a calendar month in the process.

Indeed, Continental European LNG regas averaged 225 million cu m/d during the first 10 days of March, 24% higher than the 181 million cu m/d average in February and comfortably higher than the 182 million cu m/d previous high seen during November last year, the data showed.

LNG regas in Continental Europe so far during the Winter 2018/19 delivery period stood at 28.409 Bcm at the beginning of Monday's gas day, 83% higher on an annual basis and already 60% higher than the Winter 2017/18 total.

The increase is steeper when taken from the beginning of this year, with Continental LNG regas levels for the January 1-March 10 period of 12.936 Bcm up 103% on an annual basis, with March 1-10 levels of 2.251 Bcm 145% higher when compared to the same period last year.

Data from Platts Analytics suggests that nine LNG tankers are en route to Continental European LNG terminals to deliver volume before the end of the month, with as many as a further 17 potentially following suit.

DUTCH GATE LNG TERMINAL RECORDS LARGEST ANNUAL INCREASE

The largest annual increase winter-on-winter has come from the Dutch Gate LNG terminal, which has been the regas terminal which has supplied the most natural gas equivalent into Continental European gas grids.

Regas from Gate stood at 3.257 Bcm so far this winter compared to a mere 145 million cu m for the whole of the previous winter, an increase of more than 2,100%.

Other terminals in Continental Europe that have seen significant increases include the Zeebrugge terminal in Belgium (up 405% to 2.077 Bcm), Livorno and Panigaglia in Italy (up 1,891% to 1.374 Bcm and up 1,495% to 590 million cu m respectively), and Montoir and Dunkerque in France (up 150% to 2.800 Bcm and 141% to 1.620 Bcm respectively).

However, not all terminals have benefited from the recent LNG glut over the past few months, with several terminals in Spain having failed so far this winter to breach their Winter 2017/18 totals -- regas from Sagunto, for example, was down 80% to a mere 48 million cu m.

ASIAN LNG DEMAND UP 2% YEAR ON YEAR SO FAR THIS WINTER

The steep increase in LNG deliveries into Continental Europe has come due to stronger global LNG production levels, and has not dented flows of the fuel into key Asian markets.

Indeed, supply of LNG into the region's three key markets (China, Japan, South Korea) has increased marginally to 83.689 million mt so far during this winter-delivery period, boosted primarily due to firmer Australian supply.

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Australia has supplied 27.802 million mt to China, Japan, and South Korea combined so far during the Winter 2018/19 delivery period compared to the 24.063 million mt from the October 1, 2017, to March 10, 2018, period.

As a result, Australian LNG has accounted for 33% of total supply into those three key markets so far this winter, up from 29% for the same period last winter.

-- Gary Hornby, gary.hornby@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com