Equinor, Gazprom lose European gas market share as LNG imports boom

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Equinor, Gazprom lose European gas market share as LNG imports boom

Norway’s Equinor and Russia’s Gazprom, two of the biggest suppliers of pipeline gas into Europe, had witnessed a moderation of their market shares in Europe for the first time in four years and a half, while imports of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) into the central Europe had been surging over the past ten months.

On top of that, imports of Liquified Natural Gas into major euro zone economies had climbed sharply amid a market backdrop where LNG spot demands in Central and Sothern Asia were witnessing a steep plunge amid global slowdown concerns, which in effect pulled European gas prices down to a multi-month low.

Besides, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon, there had been a 14 per cent surge in LNG supplies in Central and Western Europe between October 2018 and July 2019 and LNG gas supplies in Europe soared roughly 5 per cent at the same period in 2017-2018, while a lack of demand in Central Asia due to an escalated Sino-US trade spat had been the core reason behind latest downturn of natural gas prices, analysts suggested.

Nonetheless, Refinitiv calculations also showed on Monday (August 19th) that the share of Norwegian gas took a tumble of 33 percent from 38 percent to a multi-year low figure, while Gazprom’s market share in Western and Central Europe slightly edged down by 1 percent from a prior 32 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Meanwhile, adding that much of Gazprom’s market share in Central Europe came up from Slovakia and Czech Republic amid a sharp turnaround on other countries, a gas market analyst at Refinitiv, Marina Tsygankova said, “Most of the increase which we see in Russian supply this year came to Slovakia and the Czech Republic - countries which do not have direct access to LNG and which need to prepare their storages in case transit via Ukraine stops from January 2020. ”