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Post: Trapped: Russian gas surprise for Europe


MOSCOW, March 16 – RIA Novosti, Natalia Dembinskaya. The EU cannot get rid of energy imports from Russia. On the contrary, they receive twice as much liquefied gas. Analysts note that the “bad habit” could go wrong for Europeans.

Recording volumes

According to think tank Bruegel, in 2022 the EU purchased 19.2 billion cubic meters of Russian LNG, which is 35% more than in 2021 (14.2 billion).

According to the analysis of the energy market monitoring group Montel, the main importers were France (about a third of supplies to Europe), the Netherlands, Spain (almost a quarter) and Belgium. Only Great Britain and Lithuania completely refused to buy.

“It’s very appropriate to turn a blind eye to the increased flow of Russian gas,” say Columbia University analysts.

As The Brussels Times highlights, LNG from Russia is still needed in Europe as it is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive due to geographic proximity.

As a result, after all the sanctions and losses in pipeline fuel, the European Union – unexpectedly for itself – became the second largest consumer of Russian LNG.

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no place to go

Alternative materials are too expensive for Europeans. According to Eurostat, in 2022 gas was spent 3.3 times more than in the previous year – 208 billion euros (in 2021 – 62.5).

For the first time in many years, most of the spending fell on liquefied gas – 109.4 billion (on the pipeline – 98.6 billion).

At the same time, US imports increased sevenfold to 48.4 billion euros. Russia received 47.6 billion, of which 16.2 was LNG. Qatar is in third place in terms of sales in the EU.

“Europe can’t do without gas from Russia, as politicians may want it: It’s cheaper than Qatari or American gas, after all. If they eventually refuse, Moscow will divert exports to China or India. And Indian LNG could well be Russian,” says an independent. industry expert Leonid Khazanov.

Indeed, it is almost impossible to verify the origin of LNG – there are no banks of fuel samples from different countries, and it will not be possible to conduct isotopic analysis from one or another tanker.

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Dangerous Imports

Of course, the increase in Russia’s imports is against the EU’s energy policy. And that comes with certain risks.

In the West, they believe LNG is a geopolitical weapon for Moscow, just like pipe gas.

“Putin can block exports to unfriendly countries while continuing to fuel poor Asian countries experiencing acute energy shortages,” Politico warns.

The newspaper said, “Europe actually fell into a trap due to the consumption of Russian LNG. Everything can turn into gas blackmail when it is necessary to stock up for the coming winter.”

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you don’t have to choose

The EU’s dream of completely abandoning Russian energy supplies and depriving Moscow of income remains unattainable for now.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that Europeans will miss 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas this summer if Moscow cuts remaining pipelines and China’s demand for LNG increases.

Vortexa believes that “Russian gas will continue to play an important role in filling European storage facilities”. This worries Brussels a lot.

Russia, the world’s fourth largest producer of liquefied natural gas, currently supplies about 15% of the supply to Europe. According to Rystad Energy analysts, this figure will increase.

Source: Ria

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