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NWE may need natural gas import boost by early 2020s to meet demand: Dutch TSO


* Gasunie presents demand scenarios out to 2035
* LNG and Russian gas likely to meet import gap
* Northwest European output estimated to fall steadily

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Northwest Europe would need additional gas supply sources by the early 2020s under a scenario of strong economic growth and slow adoption of renewable energy, Dutch transmission system operator Gasunie said in a report.

A combination of strong growth and high rate of renewables adoption would shift the extra import requirement out towards 2030, it said.

Under a third scenario, in which low economic growth is accompanied by low renewables adoption, additional imports are needed from around the middle of next decade.

"The main sources of gas to close the anticipated import gap for Northwest Europe are likely to be additional LNG and Russian gas, but the exact combination cannot yet be known," Gasunie said.

The TSO estimated Northwest European gas demand in its 'Green Focus' high economic growth/high renewables scenario to fall to 2,288 TWh by 2035, which would mark a 22% decline from its estimate for 2015.

Northwest European gas demand under its 'Co-operative Growth' high economic growth/low renewables scenario would rise 10.3% to 3,340 TWh by 2035.

Under the 'Limited progress' low economic growth/low renewables scenario, demand would fall 5.3% to 3,009 TWh by 2035.

Those demand estimates hold under average weather conditions.

Gasunie's analysis assumed a steady reduction in Northwest European indigenous gas output from 1,154 TWh in 2015 to 814 TWh in 2025 and 406 TWh in 2035.

It also assumed supplies of LNG and Russian gas continue at 2015 levels, and did not incorporate shale gas or green gas production.

The TSO defined Northwest Europe as Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the UK.

Scenarios for Northwest European gas demand (TWh/year):

--Reginald Ajuonuma.
--Edited by Dan Lalor,