The UK has been receiving fewer Qatari LNG deliveries while increased availability from other LNG-producing countries has allowed historically less- active UK terminals to ramp up regasification levels, an analysis by S&P Global Platts showed Wednesday.
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The UK has been heavily reliant on Qatari LNG supply in recent years. It received 87% of its LNG from the Middle Eastern country last year and was 93-94% reliant on Qatar for LNG during the previous three years, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics showed.
But so far this year, Qatari LNG arrivals have accounted for less than half of all LNG volume deliveries with only four tankers arriving from Qatar at UK LNG terminals compared to nine from other countries.
The UK has received two cargoes each from the US, Norway, Russia, and Trinidad & Tobago with an Egyptian cargo having delivered into Dragon late last month.
So far this year, a total of nine LNG cargoes from countries other than Qatar have berthed in the UK compared to the 12 for the whole of last year.
As a result of the lower Qatari deliveries, LNG regasification from the South Hook terminal -- majority-owned by Qatar Petroleum -- so far this year of 635 million cu m was 54% lower on an annual basis and 80% shy of the regas levels between January 1-April 10, 2016, data from National Grid showed.
But LNG regas from those terminals in the UK able to take volume from other LNG-producing countries -- Dragon and Isle of Grain -- have seen LNG regas so far this year of 608 million cu m, up 337% from the same period in 2017 due to the heavier LNG traffic.
Combined regas from Dragon and Isle of Grain is already above the total for the whole of 2017 of 497 million cu m.
An increase in global LNG supply on new production facilities beginning commercial operations has contributed to the higher regas from both Dragon and Isle of Grain.
The Yamal LNG facility in northwest Russia began in late 2017 in addition to the UK receiving the first LNG cargo from the US Cove Point facility -- which announced earlier this week that commercial operations had begun -- and an increase in Australian LNG output boosting supply to Asian markets.
At the same time, Qatari LNG production has been lower in recent months on maintenance on LNG trains in the country.
According to data from Platts Analytics, Qatari LNG exports averaged 318 million cu m/d of natural gas equivalent in January, 295 million cu m/d in February, 288 million cu m/d in March, and is forecast to average 270 million cu m/d this month.
But LNG production in Qatar is expected to recover to 278 million cu m/d in May and to 293 million cu m/d in June, which could see increased availability of LNG cargoes to be sent to South Hook.