This Ukraine crisis played the role natural gas as a strategic weapon. The possibility of Russia’s decision to stop the gas pump to the European Union (EU) countries is of great concern. Russian state company Gazprom supplies more than a third of the gas A highly addictive figure consumed by households and industries in the EU. A significant part of it passes through the gas pipeline, which passes through the territory of Ukraine. Actually, The Russian threat began to materialize. This The Kremlin has announced that it will cut off the supply through the Yamal gas pipeline in Poland, one of the routes that supplies gas to the EU. Previously, Ukraine had stopped pumping from another pipeline from its territory to the community block.
Experts argue that only if this channel is closed, although the blow is strong, it can be avoided. There are containment alternatives, they say. But we must foresee the worst of Russian President Vladimir Putin. decide to turn off all switches. As European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, the EU’s goal is “to achieve a result. continuous, adequate and timely supply From various sources around the world.
The crisis has revived the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, which has reached its destination on large commercial vessels. Offers are not missing. The main supplier in this crisis period is the USA (USA). Since last October, a veritable fleet of large methane tankers has been arriving in Europe from the US East Coast, making the North American country the EU’s largest supplier of LNG.
The final destination of some of these merchant ships was Asian countries, but they corrected their course and eventually docked in European ports. Shortest route and higher profit margin. Spain is the EU country with the largest number of facilities for regasification and storage of LNG. It concentrates seven out of 22 found on the European continent. In any case, it will not be easy to distribute the stored fuel from the Peninsula. lack of large-capacity gas pipelines. It should also be noted that the supply of LNG by sea today represents a major logistical challenge. As a result of the accumulation of goods after the paralysis and slowdown in world trade due to the pandemic, maritime transport networks are at the border.
Brussels has also knocked on the door of Qatar, which shares one of the world’s largest gas fields with Iran. Currently, the percentage of LNG arriving in the EU from the rich small emirate in the Persian Gulf is only 5.2%. Also added to the list of providers Australia It supplied its gas to Europe at “reasonable” prices.
Despite these gestures of “goodwill”, a complete cut-off of supply in Russia would leave some European countries, such as Germany, vulnerable in the process of eliminating nuclear power plants, forcing them to burn less coal to curb CO2 emissions. Today, Germany Europe’s largest gas consumer. Russia provides more than half of what it consumes. Perhaps this is why Germany is one of the EU countries less hostile to Russia.
something similar happens with Italyanother of the vulnerable countriesAlthough Algeria receives its gas, it is completely insufficient to meet the demand. In a phone call this week, President Putin, who met with a group of important Italian businessmen days ago and sparked great controversy, promised Prime Minister Mario Draghi that he would not run out of gas.
In any case, the passing of the months blows the wind in favor of European countries. Gas consumption drops drastically from the spring. At this time of year, Compared to January, demand fell by up to 60%. However, you should prepare for the rest of winter and the next, in case things turn more than desirable.
Anything can happen in this crisis, but experts believe it’s unlikely that Putin will decide to turn off the tap completely, mainly because this A hard blow to the Russian economy. 85% of Russia’s natural gas exports go to EU countries. Moreover, a pressure factor for Putin is the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which runs along the Baltic Sea bed until it connects with Germany without passing through Ukraine to supply energy to Central Europe. It is waiting for the approval of the Berlin Government for the commissioning of the gas pipeline. Russia is very interested in this new channel as it will be added to the already operational NordStream, which launched in 2011. Nord Stream 2 will double the existing capacity of said infrastructure. More sales and more benefits.