Spain embraces US oil and gas in new trade puzzle

spain finds United States of America To a very important energy supplier, in the midst of the trade shock following the energy crisis and the geopolitical scenario created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last year the American giant became the largest supplier Oil has proven itself as the main supplier for the first time in its history. liquefied natural gas (LNG)It comes by ship for the Spanish energy system (only Algeria surpasses the US in selling gas to Spain, but it uses the gas pipeline that crosses the Mediterranean).

The United States has managed to increase oil and gas production thanks to the controversial technique of ‘fracking’, which involves breaking rocks by injecting high-pressure water to extract hydrocarbons, resulting in the environmental impact of the work. It is a practice widely banned in Europe. Spain has banned the issuance of potential new permits when the Climate Change Act comes into force in 2021, but is importing hydrocarbons obtained through ‘fracking’ in large quantities from thousands of kilometers away.

After two years when all of Europe was formed a new job puzzle Together renewed list of energy suppliers To surpass Russia, the United States last year ousted Nigeria as the main oil supplier to the Spanish market with more than 8.7 million tons of crude oil; this was 31% more than the previous year and more than double that of 2021. of the energy crisis, according to the records of the Strategic Reserves Corporation (Cores).

To secure crude oil imports, Spanish companies have clung not only to the United States, but also to other supplier countries on the other side of the Atlantic: total purchases from the North American market increased by 21% last year, with imports from the Central and South. While the Americas increased by 24.7%, crude oil arrivals from Europe and Central Asia (-24.3%), the Middle East (-30%) and Africa (-10%) fell.

gas by boat

He played in the USA key role in supply natural gas to spain during the energy crisis. In the midst of the energy earthquake in 2022, it was the largest supplier to the Spanish economy and even surpassed Algeria after half a century of leadership. With the relative normalization of the gas market in 2023, Algeria regained its status as the largest supplier, thanks to the gas pipeline connecting both countries (29.3% of all imported gas).

The United States remains the largest seller of liquefied natural gas, which arrives in liquid form by ships and is then regasified at facilities located in Spanish ports. Gas from the USA accounted for 21% of all importsAlthough purchases decreased by 35%, it decreased to 82,858 gigawatt hours (GWh). Purchases from the US were still 21% higher last year compared to all of 2021.

Spain has managed to establish itself as a major global gas sales hub in the midst of a historic shock to the industry due to the energy crisis and the geopolitical earthquake unleashed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. All of Europe began to look for new gas supply countries to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, and the large Spanish gas infrastructures became a key element in guaranteeing continental supply, catapulting re-exports to historical highs.

Re-exports of gas from Spain increased by another 10% last yearUp to a new record equivalent of 75,500 gigawatt hours (GWh), according to Cores records. This increase, which marks a new record in the resale of gas, comes after Spain managed to rapidly increase gas resale to other countries in 2022, almost doubling its reexport activity to exceed 68,200 GWh, a growth of 91%.

Spain makes the most of its extensive network of regasification plants and gas pipeline connections with Europe, concentrating 33% of the entire European Union’s regasification capacity and 44% of the continent’s LNG storage, making it a great hub for arrival. and re-export of gas. Last year, the country that sold the most gas in the world and did not produce it was Spain.

Russia: More gas, zero oil

The European Union has established a system of economic and trade sanctions against Russia in an attempt to reduce Russia’s revenue and prevent financing of the Kremlin’s military invasion of Ukraine. Measures imposed by the Twenty-Seven include a veto on oil imports from Russia, but sales of natural gas continue. The result is Spain has not bought oil from Russia since mid-2022 (at least officially, because Russia is assumed to be taking shortcuts to achieve this) but Gas purchases from Russia continue to increase rapidly.

Spanish companies began to drastically reduce their exposure to Russian oil with the outbreak of the war, completely cutting off supplies from Russia for 22 consecutive months. After imports increased by 162% in 2021, reaching 4.6% of the total national supply, interruptions in imports were recorded in the following months, and the entry of Russian crude oil into the Spanish market has been zero since May 2022.

However, despite the war, Spain continues to increase its gas purchases from Russia. Spain’s imports of Russian gas increased by 30% last year, reaching the equivalent of almost 72,700 GWh, with Russia cementing its position as the country’s third largest gas supplier, with more than 18% of total purchases.

The Spanish Government is pressuring the energy companies responsible for gas imports from Russia to reduce purchases and not sign new supply contracts, but it is unsuccessful. But the Administration remains undeterred by not having the legal tools to prevent this, and assumes that companies can continue to buy Russian gas in quantities they freely determine because the European Union does not veto gas imports as part of economic sanctions against the Kremlin. from Ukraine for occupation.

Source: Informacion

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