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    Spain Diversifies Imports in 2017


Spain diversified gas sourcing last year, with less imported from Algeria, but more from the north, and as LNG from Qatar and Peru.

by: Mark Smedley

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Spain Diversifies Imports in 2017

Spanish gas grid operator Enagas said recently that Spain’s gas consumption grew by 9% in 2017. But in data released January 9, the company provided more details, saying the country imported 6.7% more than in 2016. The total was 389.7 terawatt-hours (36.2bn m3).

Algeria was still the main source, providing both LNG and piped gas, but its share fell to 48%, from 57% in 2016. The North African country supplied 15bn m3 as piped gas plus the LNG equivalent of 2.5bn m3.  Nigeria provided 13% of Spain’s gas, making it the second most important source at 4.6bn m(all as LNG).

France moved up to become Spain’s third largest source in 2017 at 4.1bn m3, accounting for 11% of Spain’s supply (up from 3.5bn m3 in 2016) owing to a near-40% increase in gas arriving by pipe via the Pyrenees. As France is a negligible gas producer, imports from there were all re-exports.

Spain’s other LNG sources were Qatar (3.6bn m3) and Peru (3.5bn m³), Norway (3%, 0.9bn m3), US (0.8bn m3) and Trinidad (0.65bn m³), Angola (0.8%), and Egypt and re-exports from the Netherlands accounting for 0.3% each. Indigenous Spanish piped gas contributed a mere 0.1% (38mn m3) of supply.

It's noteworthy that Spanish LNG imports from Qatar increased by 34% in 2017 and those from Peru grew by 90%, whereas Algerian LNG declined by 20%. Nigeria LNG imports were stable. A number of Nigerian and Qatari LNG supply contracts into southern Europe, including Spain, are due to lapse in the early 2020s – with suppliers keen, given the competition, to secure renewals.

Gas for Spain via its two pipeline entry points from Algeria decreased: by only 1% to 6.95bn m3 via the Medgaz subsea pipe, but down by 12% to 8.05bn m3 via the ‘Maghreb-Europe’ pipe transiting Morocco.

Unlike full year 2017, December saw a 7% year on year decline in supplies to Spain (to 3.5bn m3), with most (1.9bn m3) originating from Algeria by either ship or pipe, followed by Qatari LNG (0.5bn m3).  Enagas said last month that cold weather meant December 4 and 5 2017 were historic gas demand days in Spain. Enagas's complete monthly bulletin, including its full-year totals, can be accessed here.