A 19.7% decrease in fossil gas consumption in the first seven months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022 and a 16% decrease compared to the 5-year average. gas consumption in industry is on partial recovery path increasing 26.5% in the first seven months of 2023 compared to 2022, as in domestic consumption of Russian gas which was up by 1.65 TWh compared to July 2022.
The month of July
According to the latest available data from DESFA, in July 2023, total domestic gas consumption was 5.29 TWh. Despite the 23.9% increase in consumption compared to June, there was a decrease both compared to July 2022 (-0.54 TWh) and the five-year average (-0.27 TWh). The overall decrease compared to July last year was mainly driven by electricity production (-0.78 TWh) and much less by distribution networks (-0.03 TWh), while industry recorded an increase in gas use (+0.27 TWh).
Cumulative performance in the seven months
Overall, for the first seven months of 2023, gas consumption was 29.02 TWh, reduced compared to the same period of the previous five years (-5.51 TWh or 16%) and even more so when compared to the first seven months of 2022 (-7.13 TWh or 19.7%).It was the second lowest consumption compared to the corresponding period of the previous five years, following the first seven months of 2018 (27.37 TWh).
It is worth noting that all gas uses appear reduced compared to the five-year average. The largest decrease in absolute terms was in electricity (-3.19 TWh), followed by industry (-2.01 TWh), which showed the largest percentage decrease of 45.5%, and then distributionnetworks (-0.33 TWh). This picture changes when comparing the first seven months of 2023 with the same period of 2022, as industry recorded an increase of 26.5% (+0.51 TWh), while in electricity production and networks the consumption decreased (-6.13 TWh and -1.5 TWh respectively).
Consumption in 2023
Ιn July 2023, gas consumption (5.29 TWh) was the highest monthly consumption compared to the other months of 2023. However, it again decreased by 9.2% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
Regarding the distribution of gas consumption in end-uses, in the seven months of 2023, the decrease in gas use in electricity production also reduced its share in end-uses to 66.7% (from 70.5% in the seven months of 2022). In contrast, distribution networks increased their share to 25% in the first seven months of 2023 (24.2% in 2022), while there was a larger increase in industry of 8.3%, almost three points higher than in 2022 (5.3%).
Imports in 2023
In terms of fossil gas flows from Greece’s four gateways, in July 2023, gas imports from Russia covering domestic consumption appear much higher (+1.65 TWh) compared to the same month in 2022, when the lowest imports of Russian gas for the month of July in the last 5 years (0.33 TWh) were recorded; however, in July 2023 (1.99 TWh) imports from Russia with a share of 37.4% ranked second lowest in terms of Russian gas imports compared to the same month in the last six years. In contrast to the Sidirokastro gate at the other three gates gas flows appeared reduced compared to July 2022. The Agia Triada gateway, with a liquefied fossil gas (LNG) flow of 2.51 TWh in June, continued to be the main source of entry with a 47.1% share of total fossil gas flows imported by Greece, although reduced compared to the same month last year (-32.4%). An even greater decrease compared to July 2022 was recorded in imports from TAP via Nea Mesimvria (-65%), which contributed 0.6 TWh and a share of 11.1% of the country’s total imports. Much lower was the share covered by flows from Turkey via Kipoi (4.4% ή 0.23 TWh), which were decreased by 28.1% compared to July 2022.
Cumulatively for the first seven months of 2023, total imports from the four entry gateways into the country were 31.98 TWh. LNG imports through Agia Triada ranked first among the supply sources with 21.19 TWh – with a very small increase of 0.78% compared to the same period in 2022 – and a 66.3% share. In contrast, there was a large 42.9% decrease in Azerbaijani gas imports via TAP, which with 5.02 TWh and a share of 15.7%, continued to rank second in the first seven months of 2023, but only slightly behind Russian gas. Imports of Russian gas for domestic consumption decreased less, by 37.1% compared to the same period in 2022. Thus, with 4.55 TWh and a 14.2% share among the four entry gates, Russian gas covering domestic consumption ranked third among Greece’s supply sources. Finally, the lowest contribution continues to be made by gas imported from Turkey through the gateway of Kipoi, with only 1.21 TWh and a share of 3.8% in the first seven months of 2023, up 8.7% compared to the first seven months of 2022.
Comparison with the European Union
Using the latest available Eurostat data for both monthly gas imports via gas pipelines and LNG (up to May 2023), it is observed that Greece is on a track of reducing fossil gas.
Cumulatively, in the first five months of 2023, Greece for the first time in 2023 recorded a smaller decrease in Russian gas imports compared to the EU-27. In particular, imports decreased by 45.4% compared to the same period in 2022, almost 3 percentage points less than the EU-27 average (-48.6%). Although in May imports from the Sidirokastro gateway were zero, this was not the case for LNG (1.06 TWh), which was the highest since October 2022. As a result, Greece in May 2023 showed an increase in total Russian gas imports compared to the same month of the previous year, reversing the trend that prevailed until April 2023.
You can read the analyses of other months here.
 Overall imports from Russia were higher in July 2023, but all of these were exported to Bulgaria and as a result only 1.99 TWh were used for domestic consumption.