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LNG in Europe - Statistics & Facts

As many European countries look to increase the shares of natural gas in their energy mix to reduce coal reliance, the LNG market has increased incrementally. LNG is natural gas cooled to around minus 162 degrees Celsius, thus making it easier to transport to consumer markets not necessarily connected to gas pipeline networks. It is predominantly made up of methane and ethane, due to treatment which includes the removal of acid gases and other components impairing the liquefying process. 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.

Europe currently houses 22 operational large-scale LNG import terminals, with a further nine such terminals in the planning or construction stage as of 2019. The largest import terminal is located in Barcelona, Spain, with a nominal annual capacity of 17.1 billion cubic meters, some four billion cubic meters more than the Dunkirk, France terminal.

Although many European countries are reliant on LNG supplies, Russia and Norway are the only two exporters within Europe, sourcing LNG. Qatar is the leading exporter of LNG to Europe. This is compared to the many suppliers of re-exported LNG received from third parties. As of 2019, France is the world’s leading re-exporter of LNG.

Demand for LNG is expected to continue to be largely driven by the Asia Pacific region. By 2025, Europe is projected to account for nearly 15 percent of global demand, at 65 million metric tons.

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LNG in Europe

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