Natural Gas Production Increases in Europe, OECD Countries

Total natural gas production from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries jumped 7.9% on an annual basis in February.

A view of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline. Credit: Moroccan media

Total natural gas production from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries jumped 7.9% on an annual basis in February.

All three regions — the Americas (+8.6%), Asia Oceania (+7.8%) and Europe (+4.2%) — experienced an increase in year-on-year production levels, the International Energy Agency said in its report on Thursday.

The countries driving the increase by volume of production include the US, Canada, Australia and Norway.

However, despite the overall positive trend, the Netherlands experienced a large drop of 16.4% on a yearly basis, the Paris-based agency revealed.

The Russian military offensive in Ukraine has created “unprecedented uncertainty and volatility” for both European and Asian natural gas markets, it added.

Natural gas, which contains many different compounds, is a fossil energy source formed deep under the earth’s surface. It is the cleanest burning and fastest growing fossil fuel, currently accounting for about a quarter of global electricity generation. But its longer-term use is uncertain in a transition to net-zero energy systems.

The agency said imports of natural gas were 3.4% lower year-on-year in February, while the total exports of the gas surged nearly 6.2% compared to the prior year period.

Asia Oceania (-18.8%) led the reduction of imports, mainly due to significant drops in imports from the US and Qatar.

On the other hand, Europe (+2%) experienced a growth in imports, mainly due to an increase in orders from the US (+130%), and despite a significant reduction of imports from Belarus (-69%), Ukraine (-38%) and Russia (-8%).

Although Asia Oceania (6.9%) and the Americas (0.4%) experienced a jump in gross consumption, the tightness of European gas markets and the invasion of Ukraine resulted into a 9.4% reduction in Europe’s consumption year-on-year.

The largest drops were seen in the UK (-16.6%), Germany (-12.1%) and the Netherlands (-24.5%).

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