Spain boosted exports of natural gas 18 percent in the first quarter as plunging local demand forces importers to load the fuel back onto the ships for sale abroad.
About 260 million cubic meters was liquefied and shipped, up from 220 million cubic meters a year earlier, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg based on Poten & Partners data.
“This turns them into competitors of their own LNG suppliers in Qatar, Nigeria and Algeria,” Bloomberg analyst Philipp Chladek wrote yesterday in a note to investors.
Gas demand slid 10.5 percent in the quarter as recession idled businesses and Spain turned to wind and solar generation. The country is among those in the European Union that reload ships with gas, which they contracted to buy months or years earlier, to send it to Latin America and Asia, Chladek said.
In 2012 Spain chilled 1.34 billion cubic meters of gas into liquid form for export, more than double the 590,000 cubic meters compressed in 2011, figures compiled by Bloomberg show.
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