Bulgaria is among the five European countries with the lowest filling levels of the underground gas storage facilities (NGS) – with a filling level of 61.74%, together with Latvia (49.7%), Hungary (62.52%), Austria (66 .86%) and Romania (73.5%). This is according to data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
Gas stocks in European underground gas storages (NGS) in August exceeded the target level of 80% for the upcoming heating season. At the same time, imports of liquefied natural gas into Europe fell by 14% last month compared to July, but still reached record highs in August.
According to GIE data, European gas storages increased their volume by 13 billion cubic meters in August, which is the third largest volume for this month since 2011. The withdrawal of gas from the storages is the lowest since 2017 – only 0.85 billion cubic meters.
As of August 31, gas storage reserves in Europe had risen to 80.35%, which was 0.3 percentage points above the five-year average as of that date. At the moment, they store about 86.5 billion cubic meters of gas. EU member states previously committed to filling their storage facilities to at least 80 percent by the winter of 2022-2023 and to 90 percent for all subsequent winters. In 2021, the maximum storage fill level was observed on October 21 at just over 83 billion cubic meters (77.28%).
The highest levels of storage capacity are observed in Portugal and Poland (stock levels of 100% and 99.3% respectively). France (91.89%), Sweden (90.8%) and Denmark (94.62%) are also among the leaders in terms of reserve levels. Germany has 84.26%, Italy – 82.56%, Spain – 84.71%, Netherlands – 77.78%, Czech Republic – 82.12%, Belgium – 89.12% and Slovakia – 75.01%. The five European countries with the lowest occupancy rates of PGH are Latvia (49.7%), Bulgaria (61.74%), Hungary (62.52%), Austria (66.86%) and Romania (73.5 %).
Storage capacity is filling at a fast pace, mainly due to the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the current ultra-high prices amid declining supplies from Russia. In June, the average price of gas in Europe was about 240 dollars per 1000 cubic meters, in July – about 850, and in August – already 215 dollars per 1000 cubic meters. At its peak, the price of gas reached 3541 dollars for the first time since the beginning of March, which brought it close to a historical record – on March 7, 2022, the stock price was almost $3,900.
However, another short-term shutdown of Nord Stream will add to Europe’s difficulties in September – gas supplies are completely suspended from the night of August 31 to the night of September 3 due to repairs to the only remaining compressor unit still in operation. After completion of the work and technical disposal of the facility, gas transmission will be restored to 33 million cubic meters per day, BNT reported.
In addition, in September, European countries will face a significant drop in gas exports from Norway due to the large number of planned annual repairs to the country’s fields and gas transmission infrastructure. In August, supplies remained at a level between 300 and 330 million cubic meters of gas per day. The largest single depletion of Norwegian capacity is planned for September 8, with about 185 million cubic meters per day not available, according to Gassco. On September 7, 165 million cubic meters per day will not be available, on September 9 – 161 million cubic meters, and on September 10 – 168 million cubic meters per day. The restoration of supplies from Norway to Europe can only be expected at the end of September.
Deliveries of liquefied natural gas to Europe
Terminal deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe in August were a record for the month at 10 bcm. This was up from the previous record of 7.1 bcm in August 2019. However, European LNG receipts fell by almost 14% last month compared to July.
Capacity for regasification of LNG and for onward pipelines in Europe is now 64% of their peak capacity.
Thus, August’s record LNG deliveries were the seventh largest monthly record for 2022. Only in February did gas flows from LNG terminals be the second largest for that month. In just eight months, receipts of liquefied natural gas from terminals in the European transmission system amounted to about 84.3 billion cubic meters. For comparison, during the same period, Gazprom exported 82.2 billion cubic meters of gas to countries outside EU (including deliveries to China).
With record imports from EU countries, in 2022 liquefied natural gas will be the largest supplier of gas to Europe with a share of 32%, according to data from the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSOG) on 14 August. Supplies from the North Sea (mainly Norwegian gas) are in second place with a share of 25%, and gas supplies from the East (Russian gas, Ukrainian gas and the withdrawn European companies from Ukrainian gas storages) are in third place with a share of 24%.
At the same time, the share of liquefied natural gas reported for August was even higher – 35%, with supplies from Norway at 29% and the share of Russian gas supplies falling to 13%