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January EU LNG imports slip 5% on strong supply, healthy storage

(Montel) LNG imports into Europe and Turkey were 4.9% down month on month in January amid strong pipeline supply from Norway and high gas storage, preliminary Kpler data showed on Thursday.

Discharges of the liquid fuel in the region totalled 15bcm, compared to the 15.8bcm seen in December, with the latter the fifth highest on record, the data showed.

January LNG imports were also down nearly 7% year on year, yet it remained the biggest gas supply source for the region, with Norwegian pipeline flows contributing around 10.8bcm last month.

Norwegian pipeline supply to Europe and the UK averaged nearly 350mcm/day in January, compared to around 328mcm/day last year in the same period, according to data from TSO Gassco.

Meanwhile, more than 55% of the LNG sourced by Europe and Turkey in January originated in the US, compared to 50% in December and the 45% average in 2023, according to the data.

That is the highest US share of total LNG in overall supply, with the second and third biggest suppliers Russia and Algeria, while Qatar came in fourth.

Depressed inflows
In terms of LNG inflows, they were depressed by “high storage levels, together with strong piped gas deliveries”, International Energy Agency analyst Greg Molnar told Montel, with Europe initially having turned to the chilled fuel to replace Russian flows lost amid the fallout from the Ukraine war.

Gas storage units were last seen at 70.6% of capacity, just 2 percentage points lower year on year, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe.