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European LNG regas moves above Summer 2018 total over the weekend

London β€” LNG regasification across Europe this summer moved above the Summer 2018 total over the weekend with regas levels in Continental Europe remaining high despite a slowdown in regas levels in the UK, data from S&P Global Platts Analytics and National Grid showed.

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LNG regas in Europe (Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK) for the April 1 to June 9 gas days stood at 20.858 Bcm, above the Summer 2018 total of 20.841 Bcm after 456 million cu m of natural gas equivalent was sent into grids over the weekend.

LNG regas in Europe so far this summer was 126% higher year on year and on course to hit a record high for a summer-delivery period, being 24% above the record set in Summer 2011. Germany does not have an LNG terminal.

The Netherlands and the UK have seen the bulk of the increases, driven by the fact that the LNG can be hedged by market participants on the NBP and TTF hubs, by far Europe's most liquid markets.

LNG regas across Europe has increased on the back of weak Asian demand for spot LNG volumes allied to an increase in global LNG production, with flows of the chilled fuel into Europe having risen despite European hub prices being at multi-year lows on the back of high storage levels and plentiful pipeline supply.

Due to the weak demand from Asia, Europe has become the destination of choice for LNG produced within the Atlantic basin due to more economical netbacks into European terminals compared to their Asian equivalents.

For example, Europe received a mere 456 million cu m of natural gas equivalent from US LNG export terminals during the whole of the Summer 2018 delivery period, but received 1.169 Bcm in April alone, then 771 million cu m in May and 466 million cu m so far in June, Platts Analytics data showed.

Moreover, despite the expected slowdown of LNG volume deliveries into the UK from Qatar, regas levels in Continental Europe are due to stay strong in the coming months with netbacks for Atlantic LNG producers still pointing towards Europe rather than Asia.

The netback for volume produced from the Sabine Pass facility for June delivery in the US Gulf Coast stood at $2.973/MMBtu for Japan/Korea and at $3.130/MMBtu for Northwest Europe -- taking the TTF hub with no additional costs included -- Platts price data showed.

Furthermore, the Northwest European netback stood at $3.321/MMBtu for July, 28.1 cents higher than the Asian equivalent, suggesting that players with offtake from Sabine Pass may continue to target Europe over Asia for the coming months.

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

-- Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com