France Notes a Stoppage of the Physical Gas Flow

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/17/2022, Location: Europe

No difficulty is expected during the summer to meet the needs of French consumers, while the filling of storage in anticipation of winter continues.

Over the first 5 months of the year, gas consumption fell by 22 TWh compared to the same period in 2022, even if gas-fired power plants saw their consumption increase by 40% due to the lower availability of gas. nuclear fleet and low production of renewable electricity.

In addition, arrival in the summer period results in less gas consumption.

The level of storage has increased from 19% in mid-March to more than 56% to date (compared to 50% usually on the same date). The gas injection campaign in French storage started earlier than in previous years. The European average fill level for storage is 52%.

However, the proper filling of French storage facilities in anticipation of next winter must remain a priority for all shippers and stakeholders.

Gas flows from interconnection points located in the east of France (particularly France-Germany) are down by more than 60% over the first 5 months of the year (compared to 2021).

Since June 15, GRTgaz has noticed a stoppage of the physical flow between France and Germany. This flow was around 60 GWh/d at the start of 2022, i.e. only 10% of the capacity of the interconnection point.

On the other hand, the flow at the interconnection point between France and Spain (Pirineos) has increased in the south-north direction: on average, more than 100 GWh/d since March 1 , with peaks observed of 220 GWh/d during certain days in May.

The LNG terminals are very heavily used and close to their technical maximum. Since the first 5 months of the year, LNG entries have increased by 66%, or an additional 51 TWh. LNG import possibilities are growing as the Fos-Cavaou LNG terminal increased its capacities by 11 TWh in 2022, 13 TWh in 2023 and 30 TWh in 2024. All of these new capacities have been reserved by various suppliers gas. An increase in injection capacity from the Dunkirk LNG terminal is planned for the near future.

Beyond that, following the agreement given to GRTgaz by CRE, the project to connect a floating LNG terminal (FSRU) in the port of Le Havre is continuing in conjunction with TotalEnergies, HAROPA, the Le Havre conurbation Seine Métropole and the Ministry of Ecological Transition. This project would develop an additional import capacity of 45 TWh/year and bring additional resilience to the French system while allowing greater solidarity with adjacent countries. Work should begin in the fall of 2022 with commissioning planned for the summer of 2023.

Given the level of French stocks and the increase in LNG imports, GRTgaz remains vigilant for next winter and calls on shippers to continue filling national storage as much as possible. In the event of a total stoppage of Russian gas deliveries and a normal winter, France should be able to ensure the supply-demand balance of the French gas system. In the event of intense or late cold weather, GRTgaz would certainly have to activate an alert mechanism to encourage the reduction of gas consumption, could issue orders to reduce or interrupt the supply of certain industrial customers who have signed a commitment to reduce their consumption on demand against financial compensation (“interruptibility contracts”),


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