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LNG market in Europe - statistics & facts

Europe as a continent is largely dependent on natural gas traded via pipelines, with the majority originating in Russia. However, the Russia-Ukraine war has caused great disruption to gas trade in Europe and brought the LNG market into renewed focus. Liquefying natural gas by cooling it to around minus 162 degrees Celsius allows for gas to be transported to consumer markets far away from producing sites. LNG trading is realized via shipping vessels, with the regasification process occurring at the receiving terminal. These terminals may be either onshore regasification plants or floating storage regasification units (FSRU’s) anchored at the harbor. Once regasified, natural gas enters pipeline distribution systems for end-user delivery.

Import infrastructure

Europe currently houses 29 operational large-scale LNG import terminals, of which the majority are large-scale onshore facilities. The largest LNG import terminal is located in Milford Haven, United Kingdom, with a nominal annual capacity of 21 billion cubic meters. This is some 1.5 billion cubic meters more than the Isle of Grain, UK terminal. As of 2022, the Wilhelmshaven terminal in Germany is the largest LNG import terminal project, with an expected annual capacity of 20 billion cubic meters. Germany has no operational LNG import terminal. In the weeks following the Russia-Ukraine war, politicians debated the need for LNG import infrastructure as the government was aiming to reduce its reliance on Russian gas. Previously, concerns over the carbon footprint of gas and the expected completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had prevented fruitful investments in a German LNG market.

Trading partners and retail market size

Although many European countries are reliant on LNG supplies, Russia and Norway are the only two LNG exporters on the European continent. Qatar is the leading exporter of LNG to Europe, although the United States is expected to surpass Qatar in the coming year. Spain receives by far the greatest LNG retail volume of any country in Europe. More than two million cubic meters of truck-load cargoes left Spanish LNG terminals in 2021.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 21 most important statistics relating to "LNG in Europe".

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