Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Europe has continually demonstrated its desire to free itself from its dependence on Russian gas. But what is really happening on the ground? If the European Union’s imports by gas pipeline have reduced, its purchases of LNG (liquefied natural gas) have jumped.
Although gas imports from the European Union (EU) by pipeline have declined since the start of the war in Ukraine, purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by ship from Russia have continued to grow. .
According to Thierry Bros, professor at Sciences Po, Russian LNG represents 16% of European supplies in 2023. It is imported mainly by Spain and Belgium, which makes Russia the second supplier to the European Union after the States. -United.
Russia, second supplier to the EU after the USA
Thus, half of the EU’s purchases of Russian gas for the year 2023 would concern LNG. According to the NGO Global Witness, these purchases should reach €5.3 billion at the end of 2023. In addition, to attract LNG cargoes, competition is global and prices have soared in 2022.
However, Brussels intends to stop its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons, including LNG, by 2027, given the risk of weakening the energy balance of the European Union in the event of Russia stopping the supply of gas.
However, taking the time to diversify its supplies, the EU only belatedly opposed LNG. Currently, the latter is mainly purchased in the United States, Qatar, Egypt or West Africa. As a result, we are increasingly dependent on LNG since before the crisis, it represented only 22% of Europe’s gas supplies, whereas in 2023, it must represent 42%.
And France in all this?
However, for the moment the situation does not cause concern given that the European Union’s reservoirs are 90% full.
In France, storage is at almost 87%. A rate ahead of the schedule set by the European Commission establishing filling thresholds country by country, in application of Implementing Regulation 2022/2301 of November 23, 2022. Furthermore, the very good filling level of the dams and the growing number of wind and solar farms reassures about the energy independence of the EU.
However, the evolution of gas prices in the European Union remains uncertain, since an increase in LNG production capacity is not on the agenda and delays are noted in deliveries from Norway.
This article is originally published on gazette-du-midi.fr