Ιn September 2023, for the first time since November 2020, Russian gas covered more than half of the country’s total imports (50.6%). Total consumption also rose in September with +26.8% compared to the same month in 2022. However, cumulative consumption in the first nine months of 2023 still shows a decrease of 15.4% compared to the same period in 2022 and 14% compared to the 5-year average.
The month of September
According to the latest available data from DESFA, in September 2023, total domestic gas consumption was 4.43 TWh, up by 0.94 TWh compared to September 2022. The increase came from the three use sectors cumulatively. The largest increase was in electricity (+0.46 TWh), followed by industry (+0.41 TWh) and then distribution networks (+0.07 TWh). It is worth noting that September saw the highest percentage monthly increase in networks compared to the other months of 2023 (+15.9%). It was also the first month since April that saw an increase in monthly gas to electricity consumption (16%).
Cumulative performance in the nine months
Total gas consumption for the first nine months of 2023 was 38.1 TWh, down by 6.22 TWh (or -14%) compared to the same period of the five-year average and even lower compared to the first nine months of 2022 (-6.93 TWh or -15.4%). It was the second lowest consumption compared to the same period of the previous five years, after the first nine months of 2018 (35.39 TWh).
Compared to the five-year average, a decrease in all three gas uses was observed. The largest decrease occurred in industry (-38.1%, -2.14 TWh), followed by electricity (-12.6%, -3.81 TWh) and then networks (-3.1%, -0.26 TWh). This picture changes when comparing the first nine months of 2023 with the same period in 2022, as industry saw a large increase of 54.9% (+1.32 TWh), while electricity and networks consumption decreased (-6.74 TWh, 20.3% and -1.41 TWh, -14.7% respectively).
Consumption in 2023
Gas consumption in September 2023 (4.43 TWh) was the third lowest after 2018 and 2022, compared to the same month in previous years. Although it appeared lower compared to the two previous months (June-August), it was increased compared to September 2022 by 26.8%. Therefore, it was the second month in 2023 in which consumption appeared increased compared to the same month of the previous year, while the first time this occurred in April with an increase of 20.9%.
Regarding the distribution of gas consumption in end-uses, in the first nine months of 2023, the decrease in gas use in electricity production by 6.74 TWh also reduced its share in end-uses to 69.4% (from 73.7% in the first nine months of 2022). On the contrary, industry saw an increase both in absolute value (+1.23 TWh) and in its share in total end-uses. In particular, up to September 2023, gas use in industry was 9.1% more than four percentage points higher than in 2022 (5%). There was a slight increase in the share of use in distribution networks in the first nine months of 2023 (21.5%), compared to the same period in 2022 (21.3%), although in absolute terms there was a significant decrease (-1.41 TWh).
Imports in 2023
In terms of fossil gas flows from Greece’s four gateways, in September 2023, gas imports from Russia (2.24 TWh) were the highest compared to the other months of 2023 , contributing for the first time more than 50% of total monthly imports (50.6%), which was last seen almost 3 years ago (in November 2020). In fact, they appeared 28 times higher than in September 2022 (0.08 TWh). In contrast to the Sidirokastro gate, at the gates of Agia Triada and Nea Mesimvria, gas flows appeared reduced compared to September 2022. Specifically, the Agia Triada gate with a liquefied natural gas (LNG) flow of 1.55 TWh in September, continued to be the main source of entry with a share of 35% of the total natural gas flows imported by Greece, however, significantly reduced compared to the same month last year (-49.9%). The highest monthly decrease in imports was from TAP via Nea Mesimvria (-61.8%) contributing just 0.41 TWh and a share of 9.3% of the country’s total imports. Much lower was the share covered by flows from Turkey via Kipoi gateway (5.1% or 0.23 TWh), however, an increase of 6.2% compared to September 2022.
Cumulatively for the first nine months of 2023, total imports from the four gateways into the country were 41 TWh. LNG imports through Agia Triada ranked first among the supply sources with 25.2 TWh – down 9.8% compared to the same period in 2022 – and a 61.3% share. In contrast, a large 44.9% decrease in imports of Azerbaijani gas via TAP, which with 5.83 TWh and a share of 14.2%, came in third place. Russian gas climbed to second place in terms of gas import share for the first months of 2023 (8.37 TWh, 20.4%). In the first nine months of 2023, for the first time cumulatively for the year, Russian gas imports covering domestic consumption increased compared to the same period in 2022 (+3.8%). Finally, the lowest contribution continued to be made by gas imported from Turkey through the Kipoi gateway, with only 1.68 TWh and a share of 4.1% in the first nine months of 2023, up 2.1% compared to the first nine months of 2022.
Comparison with the European Union
Based on the latest available Eurostat data on monthly gas consumption in the EU-27 Member States (August 2023), in the eight months of 2023 Greece managed to reduce its consumption by 18.9% compared to the same period in 2022, ranking 7th in the EU-27, 7 places higher than the average (-10.9%). It seems that Greece’s position in the ranking deteriorates over the months, as it occupies a lower position. For example, while in the first quarter of 2023 it was in 1st place in terms of consumption decline, in the 5-month period it dropped to 4th place, in the 7-month period to 5th place and in the 8month period to 7th place. It is also noteworthy that in the eight months of 2023, 6 countries showed an increase in gas use compared to the same period in 2022, while in the previous months these countries were one or two.
In terms of the five-year average, the decrease achieved by Greece was only slightly larger than in the EU-27. More specifically, with -16.2% Greece was ranked 14th, slightly higher than the EU-27 average (-15.6%) which ranked 16th. The country with the largest decrease was Latvia (-46%), followed by Lithuania by a small margin (-45.7%) and the Netherlands (-38.7%).
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 2.24 TWh were used for domestic consumption.
 Some of the Eurostat data, especially for the last few months, are provisional and will be finalized in the coming months. Cyprus has not been included in the comparison as it has zero gas consumption. Malta and Slovenia have also not been included due to a very large increase in the percentage of consumption.