29 October, 2018

European natgas production expected to continue to decline

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European natural gas production is expected to continue to decline, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its analysis.

EIA believes that this is because of an aging, mostly depleted resource base. "In addition, the Netherlands’ largest natural gas field, Groningen, has been subject to increasingly strict production reduction measures."

Domestic natural gas production in EU-28, two-thirds of which is in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, has steadily declined in recent years and in 2017 accounted for 25 percent of EU-28 natural gas supply, according to the analysis.

«From 2011 through 2014, relatively high natural gas prices led to less consumption of natural gas for electric power generation in several EU-28 countries, especially the United Kingdom and Spain. More recently, the use of natural gas in power generation increased in the EU-28. In 2017, several factors such as low hydroelectric output in Spain, Italy, and Portugal as well as unplanned nuclear plant shutdowns in France led to greater natural gas consumption and higher LNG imports», said the EIA.

This is while the imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the 28 countries that make up the European Union (EU-28) averaged 5.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, increasing for the third consecutive year but remaining below their 2011 peak.

«In 2017, imports of LNG into EU-28 accounted for 13 percent of the global total. LNG import capacity in EU-28 currently stands at 20 Bcf/d, or almost one-fifth of the global total, but utilization of EU-28 LNG import facilities has declined from about 50 percent in 2010 to between 20 percent and 25 percent in recent years as expansions in regasification capacity far exceeded demand for LNG imports», said the EIA.

Currently, 13 of the EU-28 member countries import LNG. In 2017, LNG accounted for 11 percent of EU-28’s overall natural gas supply, according to EIA estimates.

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