New EU problem: LNG storage is filling up too fast
Europe is rushing to stock up on LNG ahead of the onset of cold weather, and imported more in less than a full year of 2022 than in all of 2021. Difficulties with gas storage, however, could hinder her efforts, writes Business Insider.
Europe has already imported about 192 million cubic meters of LNG in 2022, up 25% from all of 2021, according to Kpler.
LNG is chilled natural gas that can be transported on tankers over long distances. The largest network of LNG terminals in Europe is located in Spain, which has already exhausted the possibility of storing LNG in tanks that are rapidly filling up. As a result, tankers carrying imported LNG are delayed in Spanish waters because they cannot unload it. In particular, in the south-west of the country, in the Gulf of Cadiz at the Huelva terminal, 7 tankers have accumulated waiting for unloading, and one of them with a capacity of 174,000 billion cubic meters of fuel has been waiting in the bay for about 33 days.
Spain’s national gas network Enagas said on Monday that there is a clear mismatch between expected supply and demand.
All vessels that have booked an LNG offloading slot will only be able to do so with a delay, people familiar with the matter said.
Spain has created Europe’s largest network of 6 LNG regasification terminals – facilities that turn liquefied fuel back into gas, and if Spain reaches its maximum capacity in this, then the rest of Europe can do it, although near the ports of large European countries with LNG infrastructure , such as the UK, France and the Netherlands, there are not many tankers now.