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European LNG Tracker

LNG tanker



IEEFA’s European LNG Tracker is an interactive data set to visualise Europe’s LNG infrastructure, demand and capacity outlook, and import flows. It is built by compiling data from a range of sources, including Kpler, Gas Infrastructure Europe, Aggregated LNG Storage Inventory, Eurostat and IEEFA analysis.


Last updated: February 2024

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Existing and planned LNG infrastructure 

In the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost two years ago, countries in Europe* are betting on efficiency measures and increased LNG imports from non-Russian sources. The European Union (EU) aims to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027. It also has a binding target of getting 42.5% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, with an aspiration to reach 45%.

Additional LNG volumes will be handled via Europe’s large LNG infrastructure network of 37 operational import terminals, of which eight came online and four were expanded in 2022 and 2023. 13 new projects are under construction, and there are plans to expand a further four existing terminals.

94 billion cubic metres (bcm) of new or expanded LNG import capacity is in the planning stage and expected to be operational by 2030. This will bring Europe’s LNG capacity to 405 bcm.

* For the purpose of this project, the term "Europe" refers to the 27 member states of the European Union (EU27), the UK, Norway and Türkiye.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe has added 53.5 bcm of new LNG regasification capacity.

Gas consumption trends and LNG outlook

There is a big discrepancy between Europe’s forecasted LNG demand and the new regasification capacity being built and planned. LNG imports accounted for about 37% of Europe's gas consumption in 2023, up from 34% in 2022 and 19% in 2021.

Europe’s gas consumption in 2023 fell to its lowest level in 10 years at 452 bcm, 19% below 2021. Between 2021 and 2023, EU gas consumption decreased 20% to 330 bcm.

The European countries that reduced gas consumption the most in the last two years are:

  • Germany (-17.6 bcm)
  • Italy (-14.4 bcm)
  • The UK (-14.2 bcm)
  • The Netherlands (-10.9 bcm)
  • Türkiye (-9.7 bcm)
  • France (-8.6 bcm)
  • Spain (-4.8 bcm)

IEEFA forecasts that European LNG demand will not exceed 135 bcm in 2030, leaving a potential gap of around 265-270 bcm of unused capacity.

The average utilisation rate of the EU’s LNG import terminals in 2023 was 58.5%, reducing from 63% in 2022.

Last year, eight LNG terminals had less than 50% utilisation rates:

  • Four in Spain (Barcelona, Cartagena, Huelva, Sagunto)
  • One in Italy (Piombino FSRU (Snam) which came into operation in July and reached 80% utilisation rate in November and December)
  • One in Greece (Revithoussa)
  • One in Finland (Inkoo)
  • One in Germany (Ostsee FSRU1)

LNG import and export volumes

Europe’s LNG imports totalled about 167 bcm in 2023, similar to 2022.

Last year, 46% of Europe’s LNG imports came from the U.S., 12.1% from Qatar, 11.7% from Russia, 9.4% from Algeria, 5.6% from Nigeria and the rest from other countries.

The biggest LNG importers in 2023 were France, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Italy and Türkiye.

EU27 spending on LNG

In 2022, the EU27 paid about €110.6 billion for LNG imports. In 2023, the EU27 paid almost €61 billion for LNG, €26.8 billion of which was for LNG from the U.S., €8.1 billion from Russia, €7.7 billion from Qatar, €6.1 billion from Algeria, €2.9 billion from Norway and €2.8 billion from Nigeria.

From January 2022 to December 2023, the EU27 paid about €171.5 billion for imported LNG, €75.1 billion of which was for LNG from the U.S., €23.8 billion from Russia and a similar value from Qatar, €10.8 from Algeria, €7.3 billion from Nigeria, €6.5 billion from Norway, €6.5 billion from Angola and the rest from other countries.

Russia: LNG infrastructure and trade with Europe

Russia has four LNG terminals: three in the Atlantic basin (Yamal, Portovaya and Vysotsk) and Sakhalin in the Pacific basin. Yamal is the biggest, with 17.44 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefaction capacity, followed by Sakhalin (10.8 mtpa), Portovaya (1.5 mtpa) and Vysotsk (0.66 mtpa).

In November 2023, the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Russian Arctic LNG 2 project, which is majority owned by Novatek. France’s TotalEnergies, which owns a 10% stake in the installation’s operator, has since said it doesn’t plan to offtake any LNG from the project this year.

Between 2021 and 2023, Russian LNG supply to Europe increased 11%; supply to Spain doubled and to Belgium more than tripled. Türkiye and Greece started importing Russian LNG in 2022.

The European terminals that imported the largest volumes of Russian LNG between 2021 and 2023 were Zeebrugge (Belgium), Montoir-de-Bretagne (France), Bilbao (Spain), Gate (the Netherlands), Dunkerque (France) and Mugardos (Spain).

New floating storage units (FSUs)

New FSUs aimed at helping Russia’s Novatek boost LNG shipments to foreign markets including Europe have also been affected by U.S. sanctions. These include:

  • The 400-metre-long Saam FSU that arrived at Ura Guba, Kola Peninsula, Murmansk, last year.

  • The 400-metre-long Koryak FSU that arrived at Bechevinskaya Bay, Kamchatka, last year.

Each barge has an annual transshipment capacity of 20 million tons, sufficient to handle production from both Yamal LNG and the upcoming Arctic LNG 2 project.

Yamal LNG transshipments

The Zeebrugge and Montoir-de-Bretagne terminals continue transshipping Russian LNG from the Yamal project.

In 2023, 3.77 bcm of Yamal LNG was transshipped by Zeebrugge, 1.83 bcm by Murmansk in Russia and 1.48 bcm by Montoir-de-Bretagne, according to Kpler.

Europe imported 19.5 bcm of Russian LNG in 2023, similar to 2022 values.

Spain, France and Belgium received 80% of Europe’s Russian LNG imports last year.  

Including transshipments, Europe’s terminals received 24.72 bcm of LNG from Russia last year, 22.17 bcm of which was from Yamal, 1.56 bcm from Portovaya and 0.99 bcm from Vysotsk. Part of those flows were volumes of LNG imported by European countries and the rest were volumes of Yamal LNG transshipped at Zeebrugge and Montoir-de-Bretagne and sent to markets outside Europe.

Belgium’s Zeebrugge was the European terminal that received the most Yamal LNG last year (7.16 bcm), followed by Montoir-de-Bretagne with 4.97 bcm and Bilbao with 2.78 bcm.

Zeebrugge was the European terminal that imported the most LNG from Vysotsk in 2023, followed by Tornio Manga (Finland).

Greece’s Revithoussa was the European terminal that imported the most LNG from Portovaya in 2023, followed by Ereglisi and Dortyol (both in Türkiye).

About transshipments

A transshipment service is the transfer of LNG between two ships, with or without the intermediate transfer of LNG into terminal tanks.

There are two types of transshipments:

  1. Direct ship-to-ship transshipment between two LNG carriers berthed at the same time at two separate jetties of a given LNG terminal.
  2. Ship unloading + LNG storage + ship reloading. This includes all the actions and technical interventions needed to berth, unload a ship, store the LNG in a tank and reload (partially or totally) the LNG into a ship in a given moment. Zeebrugge is the only EU terminal offering this service.

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Ana Maria Jaller-Makarewicz is lead energy analyst for IEEFA’s Europe team. Her research focuses on topics related to gas and LNG, as well as other relevant European energy issues.


With contributions from:  Sofia Russi, Jules ScullyAlasdair Docherty

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