Statistics Explained

Natural gas supply statistics

Data from April 2022.

Planned article update: April 2023.

Highlights

In 2021, inland demand of natural gas in the EU increased by 4.3 % compared with 2020.
In 2021, the EU’s natural gas import dependency rate was 83 %.
EU natural gas production continued its decreasing trend, falling by 7.6 % in 2021 compared with 2020.
Figure 1: Inland demand of natural gas in EU
in terajoules (gross calorific value)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm), (nrg_cb_gas)

This article looks at monthly cumulated data on natural gas in the European Union (EU) for 2020 and 2021, as well as changes between these two years. It covers all aspects of the supply side - primary production, imports (entries) and exports (exits), stock changes, inland demand - as well as natural gas energy dependency data by Member State and for the European aggregates, i.e. the EU and euro area.



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Consumption trends

In 2021, inland demand of natural gas in the EU increased by 4.3 % compared with 2020, to reach 15 834 900 terajoules. EA-19 consumption increased by 4.1 %, to 13 315 096 terajoules. The most significant increases in consumption were recorded in Estonia (13.3 %), Bulgaria (12.6 %) and Slovakia (11.9 %), while the largest drops occured in Lithuania (-5.6 %), Portugal (-4.5 %) and Ireland (-3.9 %). In 2021, Germany, Italy and France had the highest inland demand with 3 633 109 terajoules, 2 899 704 terajoules and 1 718 451 terajoules respectively (see Table 1 and 2 and Figure 2).

In Table 1 and Table 2 as well as in Figure 6, a negative dependency rate indicates a net exporter country. Positive values over 100 % indicate stocks build-up during the reference period.

Table 1: Provisional natural gas balance sheet in thousand terajoules (GCV)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)


Table 2: Provisional natural gas balance sheet in thousand terajoules (GCV)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)


Figure 2: Inland demand of natural gas in terajoules (GCV)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)

Supply structure

Natural gas production

EU natural gas production continued its decreasing trend, falling by 7.6 % in 2021 compared with 2020, to 1 755 874 terajoules. For the euro area, a decrease of 9.8 % was recorded, with production amounting to 1 110 745 terajoules. The main EU natural gas producer, the Netherlands, registered a drop in production of 9.4 %. With a natural gas production of 724 748 terajoules in 2021, the Netherlands remained the first producer of natural gas in the EU, followed by Romania, whose primary production equaled to 343 927 terajoules, and Germany, whose primary production was of 169 004 terajoules (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Primary production in terajoules (GCV)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)

Natural gas imports

Total EU imports of natural gas increased by 0.1 % to reach 24 669 663 terajoules. The most significant increases in 2021 compared with 2020 among the main net importers, i.e. countries importing at least 1 000 000 terajoules, was observed in Spain (13.8 %), Italy (9.8 %) and Czechia (4.9 %) whereas the main decreases were recorded in Slovakia (-20.5 %), Austria (-7.5 %) and Poland (-4.3 %) (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Total imports and exports in terajoules (GCV)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)

It is important to remember a methodological change in reporting monthly natural gas trade since reference month January 2013. The monthly reporting provides import figures as entries from the last transit country (mostly neighbouring countries) instead of the country of origin (i.e. the country of primary/indigenous production) and export figures as exits from the reporting country (thus including all natural gas transiting its national territory). This is different from the methodology for annual data, where the ultimate origin of imports is reported, thus excluding all natural gas transit, also from export figures.

As regards the origin of imports (entries), Russia was the source of 23.3 % of the natural gas entering the EU (intra-EU trade and entries from Switzerland both excluded), followed by Norway (22.7 %), Ukraine (10.2 %) and Belarus (8.9 %) (see Figure 5). However, considering that most gas entering the EU from Ukraine and Belarus originally comes through Russia, the dependency on natural gas imports (as ultimate origin) from Russia is in practice higher than from Norway.

Figure 5: Percentage of extra-EU imports (entries) of natural gas by country of origin
Source: Eurostat (nrg_ti_gasm)

Natural gas dependency in the EU decreased to 83 % in 2021, down from 83.5 % in 2020. In 15 Member States natural gas dependency was higher than 90 % in 2021, up from 14 Member States in 2020.(Figure 6)

Figure 6: Natural gas import dependency, by country, 2020-2021 (%)
Source: Eurostat (nrg_cb_gasm)


Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

All data used in this article correspond to cumulative monthly figures and may differ from the annual data.

The reporting is based on Regulation (EC) No 1099/2008 on energy statistics .

Context

Timely data are essential to all stakeholders for an efficient monitoring of the market evolutions, especially in the energy domain. Therefore, Eurostat not only collects detailed annual statistics but also complements them with a reduced number of data points collected on a monthly basis. The reporting deadline for countries is to transmit monthly natural gas statistics to Eurostat in 55 days after the end of the reference month. Eurostat validates received data and publishes them as soon as validated. In this framework, the natural gas monthly data covers its supply – and to a limited extent its consumption, providing thus early information about the developments in the natural gas market both in the EU as in each Member State.

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Energy Statistics - quantities, monthly data (nrg_quant)
Energy Statistics - supply, transformation, consumption (nrg_10m)
Supply - gas - monthly data (nrg_103m)
Energy statistics - imports (by country of origin) (nrg_12m)
Imports (by country of origin) - gas - monthly data (nrg_124m)
Energy statistics - exports (by country of destination) (nrg_13m)
Exports (by country of destination) - gas - monthly data (nrg_134m)

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