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UK LNG Imports Soar

Offtakes have tripled in the first 42 weeks year-on-year

British LNG demand has seen a dramatic increase compared to 2018 and 2017 as the country reached a preliminary offtake peak of 3.9mln m3 in April. For the remainder of October this year, we are expecting another four cargoes aboard the Lijmiliya, the Bu Samra – both scheduled do dock at South Hook LNG – as well as the Umm Slal and the Megara, which are headed for the Isle of Grain.

The UK had already seen robust year-on-year demand growth in 2018, increasing offtakes by almost 6%.

Qatar reasserts its dominance as key supplier

Notably, Qatar has reasserted its dominance as the UK’s key supplier in spring as exporters such as Yamal LNG used the warmer summer temperatures to send more cargoes via the Arctic to China and the bulk of US LNG headed to Europe was soaked up by Spain and France.

UK import growth carried mainly by South Hook

The increase in imports was mainly carried by the South Hook terminal in Milford Haven in Wales, where imports soared to more than 12mln m3 in the year to date, an increase of almost 260%.  Compared to the same period in 2017, imports have increased by almost 84%.

Dragon LNG helped

Despite being a smaller facility, its neighbour Dragon LNG also managed to more than triple its offtakes over the same period, though activity has waned since July, a pattern that could also be observed in 2018. Nevertheless, Dragon LNG more than doubled offtakes since January this year compared to the same period in 2017. The terminal tends to receive cargoes from a more varied roster of suppliers, soaking up excess volumes in search of a destination. 

Milford Haven prime destination for Qatari LNG

The two terminals at Milford Haven represent Britain’s prime capacity for imports from the Middle East and the westerns side of the Atlantic Basin. Cargoes delivered here tend to be based on more long-term supply deals with Qatar (Qatargas II-IV and RasGas III) though a few portfolio deliveries from Sabine Pass and the occasional spot cargo also find their way here.

Isle of Grain also saw robust offtake growth from Russia and Algeria

Meanwhile, the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent is predominantly approached by vessels from Russia (Yamal LNG) and Algeria (Arzew) with the occasional import from Norway’s Snøhvit LNG.

Here imports have seen slightly slower growth, increasing by less than one and a half times in the year-to-date compared to the same period in 2018, whilst having doubled offtakes compared to the same period in 2017