PARIS, Mar. 9 -- Preliminary figures from Eurogas indicate that total gas consumption for the European Union 27 and Switzerland increased by 7.2% to 522 billion cu m in 2010 vs. 2009. In 2009, the economic crisis had pulled down consumption to its lowest level since 2002.
The growth was due to a combination of severe weather conditions, which strongly pushed up demand from the residential sector, and economic recovery illustrated by the 1.8% real GDP growth and the 6.6% increase in the EU 27 average production index for 2010.
Higher electricity demand due to economic recovery combined with the switch to gas from other fuels for electric power generation, which significantly contributed to total demand growth.
Indigenous gas production fell by 4% to 176 bcm in 2010, mainly because of the decline in mature production basins. However, with a 34% share, it is still the largest source of gas for the EU 27. Main external sources were Russia, 23%; Norway, 19%; Algeria, 10%; and Qatar, 6%; the latter two countries showed an increasing role as LNG suppliers to Europe.
The UK was the largest gas consumer in 2010 with 99.8 bcm. Luxembourg was the smallest with 1.4 bcm of gas consumed. Other countries’ gas consumption numbers were: Germany, 87 bcm; Italy, 81.1 bcm; France, 50.7 bcm; the Netherland, 46.8 bcm; Spain, 37 bcm; and Switzerland, 3.2 bcm.
Eurogas: EU 27 gas consumption rises 7.2% in 2010