Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 29 March 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Russia Delivers More LNG Supplies to Europe
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson has proposed further reducing demand for the bloc along with a plan to completely phase out Russian LNG supply to Europe, saying companies should not renew long-term contracts once current ones end.
The continent procured 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Russian LNG last year, which accounted for 15 percent of the bloc’s total LNG imports. Europe became a major destination for Russian LNG exports in 2022, accounting for 73 percent of total exports compared to 65 percent a year before. A rise in LNG imports was recorded despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and EU sanctions. Russian liquefied natural gas is delivered to Europe from the Novatek-controlled Yamal LNG in Russia’s Far North. The facility has an annual capacity of 17.4 million tons. Russia’s Gazprom delivers gas to Europe from its Baltic terminal of Portovaya that has an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons. In 2022, most of these supplies were delivered to France (5.4 million tons), Belgium (2.1 million tons), the Netherlands (1.8 million tons), and Spain (3.8 million tons). A Belgian gas operator to continues offering LNG transshipments services at its Zeebrugge terminal for cargoes from the Novatek-operated Yamal LNG facility in northern Russia. The arrangement allows for Russia’s specialized ice-breaker LNG carriers to transfer Yamal LNG volumes at Zeebrugge onto conventional LNG vessels to allow regular onward shipments to Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern markets–––even in the winter when the route via the Arctic Ocean is frozen. Russian LNG exports rose by 10 percent last year, the International Energy Agency reported. Some 43 percent of Russian liquefied natural gas was shipped to EU states. Most EU states have either slashed or phased out Russian LNG resources. However, Spain’s imports of Russian liquefied natural gas have soared 190 percent between January 2022 and January 2023. In addition, Russian gas went from making up 5.8 percent of total imports in Spain to 19.2 percent this year. Russia is now Spain’s fourth-biggest natural gas supplier––after Algeria, the United States, and Nigeria.
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