European Gas Demand Registers Significant Y/Y Increase in March
European gas demand registered a significant year-on-year increase in March, with Italy seeing the strongest rise in total demand (13%), according to reports by consultancy Energy Aspects.
‘Over March, the southern European markets of Spain and Italy saw y/y increases in their total gas demand. Italy saw a y/y rise in total demand of 0.78 bcm (13%), while Spanish demand rose by 0.16 bcm (7%) y/y. The increase in gas demand in both countries was primarily due to y/y growth in power and residential sector demand’ read a first note.
The research consultancy said that Italy relied more on LNG imports (+118%) and on withdrawals from storage, offsetting a reduction in Algerian and Russian gas (-2% with respect to March 2014).
Similarly, residential demand drove gas demand in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
‘In the Netherlands, demand from the residential and commercial sector rose y/y by 0.33 bcm (19%), while in France and Belgium residential demand was up y/y by 0.38 bcm (15%) and 0.21 bcm (27%) respectively’ the consultancy wrote in a separate communiqué.
In this context, Belgium is the most interesting case, as nuclear issues are reportedly unlikely to be resolved in 2015.
UK total gas demand grew too. For the fourth straight month, it registered an year-on-year rise. According to Energy Aspects, the increase was due to colder weather.
The British gas markets also offered mixed a picture.
‘Unlike in the past ten months, demand from the power sector saw y/y declines—albeit marginal ones. Industrial demand was also another surprise on the demand side and grew by more than 22% y/y (50 mcm). Although still fairly small, this was the strongest y/y growth in over five years.’
In 2014, European gas demand was 409 Bcm, down 11.2% with respect to 2013.