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UPDATE 1-German 2022 gas imports dropped 12.3%, Norway helped replace Russia - regulator

Reuters · 01/06/2023 06:45
UPDATE 1-German 2022 gas imports dropped 12.3%, Norway helped replace Russia - regulator

Adds details

- Germany imported 12.3% less gas in 2022 than the previous year, at 1,449 terawatt hours (TWh), as the withdrawal of Russian export supplies of fossil fuels triggered an energy crisis, the country's energy regulator said on Friday.

Norway took over from Russia as the one supplier, accounting for 33% of the total volume, with Russia supplying 22%, the regulator said in a statement.

Russia, which had contributed 52% of German gas imports in 2021, cut deliveries via the important Nord Stream 1 pipeline successively by 60%, then 80%, with flows falling to zero at the start of September after the line was damaged.

"The missing gas shipments from Russia were partly compensated by additional imports, among other origins, via the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway," the statement said.

The Berlin government has also rushed through provisions for liquefied gas (LNG) to arrive on board ships to plug gaps.

The tighter situation in Germany meant it curbed exports to countries that a formerly generous supply of Russian energy had traditionally allowed, although lower demand elsewhere also reduced shipments, the regulator .

Total German gas exports amounted to 501 TWh, down by a third from 749 TWh a year earlier, and leaving Germany a greater balance of 948 TWh for the domestic market (902 TWh in 2021).

Consumption meanwhile fell by 14%, helped by temperatures that on average were 1.1 degrees Celsius above the average of the preceding four years.

Germany's gas storage levels currently stand at a comfortable 90.72%, way above the 40% threshold that the regulator deems critical at the start of February.

However, filling the caverns again after the winter season in the course of 2023 will remain a challenge, given the big picture uncertainties over Germany's general supply situation, the statement added.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert
Editing by Rachel More and Frances Kerry)

((vera.eckert@thomsonreuters.com; +49 30 2201 33654; @EckertVera;))