2022 was a Milestone Year for Gas as a Global Commodity, and Record-High Prices In Many Regions, as Russian exports to Europe fell sharply.
LONDON, Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The International Gas Union (IGU) today releases its 2023 Global Wholesale Gas Price Survey report, the 15th undertaken since 2005.
2022 was the most turbulent year in the history of gas markets, as the global energy crisis intensified and the global price levels reached record highs, in many markets as a consequence of exceptional tightness in the markets. The record high 56% of (GOG) Gas on Gas competition priced share of total imports (and over 50% in total gas consumed), helped the market respond to the energy crisis, with a significant rearrangement of global gas trade, which kept the lights on in Europe, but priced some buyers in Asia out.
2022 saw record price levels, with Europe’s wholesale prices reaching over $30 per MMBTU and dragging the average world price to $9.44 per MMBTU – the highest ever – compared to a record low of $3.23 per MMBTU in 2020. Record high prices were seen in all regions apart from North America and the Former Soviet Union.
2021 and 2022 both saw unprecedented increases in spot prices globally with abnormal price volatility, from the depths of 2020 as Covid-19 impacted gas demand. Prices have eased back somewhat in 2023, but they remain above pre-crisis levels and market conditions keep them susceptible to further volatility.
Price shocks induced significant drops in gas demand in some markets, notably in Europe, where the very high prices curtailed demand in industrial sectors and led to behavioural changes in households. Out of the 106 observations, 52 were markets which had a price in 2022 of over $10 per MMBTU.
The volume of spot LNG cargoes has risen almost three times in five years, from 63 bcm in 2016 to 171 bcm in 2022.
The share of spot LNG in the market rose back to 35%, following a small decline in 2021. The total GOG share of LNG imports reached 47% of all LNG trade in 2022, nearly doubling since 2016 when it was at 25%.
Spot LNG volume in Europe and China began growing strongly in 2019. China’s spot import volumes reached a record of 50 bcm in 2021, but in 2022 they more than halved, with flat China gas demand and the pull of Europe for spot cargoes – where spot volumes of 64 bcm were almost 40% of total LNG imports into Europe. Asia Pacific spot volumes in 2022 rose slightly with increases in South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Thailand, more than offsetting declines in Japan and elsewhere.
The surge in Europe’s spot LNG imports contributed to the significant growth of GOG in this region. Some of Turkey’s contracted pipeline imports from Russia switched to hub pricing away from oil indexation. In addition, the pricing of pipe imports from Algeria into Tunisia changed to GOG from OPE. Spot LNG imports also rose in South Korea and Chinese Taipei, while rising consumption in Russia also boosted the GOG share.
Madam Li Yalan, the IGU President said:
2022 was a year that the global gas industry will remember; the significant increase in gas prices has had a huge impact on people’s lives and economies in Europe and around the world. That has made us all acutely aware of the importance of stable prices for development and for the gas industry, and that price stability depends directly on having sufficient supply and production to meet the world’s demand for energy.
Gas is essential to re-establish the lost global energy security and to deliver an orderly energy transition. Without security, there can be no transition, security requires a functioning global market.
The Annual IGU Wholesale Gas Price Survey report was launched in 2005. It is a unique global database on the evolution of gas markets, changes in gas price formation mechanisms, and wholesale gas prices. The 2023 Edition includes data from 85 gas markets, covering 91% of total world natural gas consumption. It is produced by the IGU Strategy Committee and Michael Fulwood of the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies.
The International Gas Union (IGU) was founded in 1931 and is a worldwide non-profit organisation representing more than 150 members in more than 80 countries. The members of the IGU are national associations and corporations within the gas industry, covering over 90% of the global gas market and working in every segment of the gas value chain, from the supply of natural and decarbonised gas, renewable gas and hydrogen, through their transmission and distribution, and all the way to the point of use. The IGU organises flagship international gas conferences, including the international World LNG conference series (LNG2023, LNG2026), the World Gas Conference (WGC2025), and the International Gas Research Conference (IGRC2024).
Tatiana Khanberg, Director of Strategic Communications and Membership, Tatiana.Khanberg@igu.org