Markets

A glut of LNG supplies in the coming years as new liquefaction projects come online at global level might lead to increased coal-to-gas switching in European markets, a recent paper by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) suggested.

Natural gas demand for power generation was down 13.2% year on year in December 2016 in the US, standing at 669 billion cubic feet (Bcf), or 21.6 Bcf/day, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

However, gas consumption posted increases in all other sectors, with residential consumption being up 34.9% at 797 Bcf or 25.7 Bcf/day; commercial deliveries increasing by 31.8% to 464 Bcf, or 15.0 Bcf/day, their highest level for December since 2013 and industrial deliveries gaining 8.3% year on year at 731 Bcf, or 23.6 Bcf/day.

Failures at gas-fired power plants in New South Wales during a heatwave affecting eastern Australia at the beginning of February contributed to an overload in the electricity system in the state, according to a report of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) has signed a long-term agreement to supply natural gas to steelmaker ArcelorMittal in Poland. 

Injections of biomethane into the national gas grid rose 162% year on year in 2016 in France, standing at 215 GWh.

It emerged from a report published by grid operators Tigf, GrDF and GRTGaz, together with renewable and gas associations Ser and Spegnn.

A rebound in CO2 emission allowance prices in Europe in the second part of 2016 was among the factors contributing to the increase in competitiveness and output for gas-fired generation, according to Italy's Gestore Servizi Energetici (GSE).

Gas-fired generation in France increased by 60.8% year on year in 2016, reaching 35.5 TWh and accounting for 6.6% of power generation in the country, according to grid operator Rte.

Russian gas supplies to Austria have spiked up in 2016, rising by 37.9% year on year to 6.1 billion cubic meters, Gazprom said.

Gross inland energy consumption in the European Union accounted for 1,626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2015, 2.5% below 1990 levels and 11.6% below its peak of almost 1,840 Mtoe in 2006, according to Eurostat.

French gas grid operator has lifted the supply alert for LNG supplies at the Fos-sur-Mer terminal this week, on the back of milder temperatures and increasing LNG deliveries, after a situation of bottleneck partly due to tight LNG supplies had affected South-East of France at the end of January.

The share of electricity generated from gas-fired power plants sold on the Italian day-ahead regulated electricity market continued to see year on year increases in January, standing at 53.3% of total sales against 46.1% in January 2016, according to data from exchange manager Gestore Mercati Energetici (GME).

Natural gas in the form of LNG is expected to continue playing a key role in Japan's energy mix in the future, despite some forecasts suggesting a decrease in consumption is to be expected compared to current levels, according to a senior official at major utility Tokyo Gas.

Electricity demand in Italy was up by 0.4% year on year in December 2016, standing at 26.2 TWh according to data released by Italian power grid operator Terna.

Natural gas had the biggest share in the European generation mix in 2016, with 183 GW installed, accounting for 20.3% of total installed generation capacity.

Total volumes of electricity generated by Enel in 2016 fell 7.8% year on year, standing at 261.8 TWh, according to the company's 2016 preliminary consolidated results.