Cold weather causes surge in EU gas consumption
Emergency supplies of natural gas in European underground storage facilities are shrinking as cold weather has prompted the bloc to use more fuel amid increased energy consumption, Vedomosti reported on Thursday.
The EU pumped four times more fuel from its stocks in December compared to the November average, according to the outlet’s calculations based on data from Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE).
In early December, net gas withdrawal from the bloc’s underground storage facilities averaged 563 million cubic meters per day, while in November this figure stood at just 157 million cubic meters per day, according to GIE.
Gas inventories in the EU fell by 6.3% of capacity to 93.3%. It comes after the bloc reported that the volume of natural gas had soared to an all-time high of almost 98% in October.
Renewable energy generation such as wind turbines dropped in December, covering about 15% of the bloc’s energy needs, data showed.
Meanwhile, Russian energy major Gazprom continues to supply gas for transit to Western and Central Europe through Ukraine via the only remaining gas-pumping station, Sudzha. Some 42.4 million cubic meters per day had been supplied as of early December.
Although gas inventories in the EU are currently sufficient, analysts warn that this may change during winter. Industry watchers also say the EU market will be highly influenced by gas consumption in Asia, as countries in South Asia are expected to become the main demand drivers for the LNG market.
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