The Big Picture

Russia's Limited Gas Future in Europe

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  • Europe’s imports of Russian pipeline gas are now under 20% their prewar levels, and the continent’s build-out of LNG import capacity is well under way, with the US and Qatar seen as key incremental suppliers.
  • Despite that progress, some questions linger over the permanence — and depth — of Europe’s break from Russian gas, which is not subject to sanctions.
  • But as EU policymakers double down on reducing demand, accelerating renewables and lining up alternative supplies, the scope for Russia’s return looks limited — even if peace breaks out.

The question is a critical one for LNG developers, particularly those in the US. If new projects are being finalized with supplying Europe in mind, will the demand still be there a few years down the line, after the Ukraine war has perhaps become a frozen conflict or even moved toward a settlement? After all, pipeline volumes largely outcompete LNG on price, so will market forces ultimately win the day — as Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi hinted last month? Gazprom, for one, is likely hoping that Europe will need more Russian gas than it buys now if the energy crisis continues to bite. And certainly Moscow had the European market in mind when it proposed Turkey acting as a gas hub.

Policy and Regulation, Sanctions, Gas Supply, Gas Demand, Gas Pipelines, Gas Spot Markets, Ukraine Crisis
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