EU's gas dependence on Russia hits new record

EU's gas dependence on Russia hits new record

The share of Gazprom's gas in the balance of non-CIS countries receiving Russian gas in 2016 reached 33.5%, after 31% in 2015.

Gazprom Export's December corporate bulletin Blue Fuel notes a steady increase in the company's share of gas on European market, it has already reached approximately 1/3.

According to the Interfax news agency, in 2016 Gazprom will supply to non-CIS countries about 179 billion cubic meters of gas (in the past year, the volume was 159.4 billion cubic meters).

According to analysts, in 2016 Europe's  gas consumption will grow from 469 to 488 billion cubic meters, and in Turkey, on the contrary, will decrease from 47.8 billion cubic meters to 45.1 billion cubic meters.

At the same time, the European market grew by 4-5%, Gazprom's gas supply to it increased several times higher -  by 13%.

The deputy director of energy policy of the Institute of Energy and Finances, Alexey Belogoriev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the EU had to increase the purchase of gas from Russia, despite the desire to be less dependent on Gazprom, due to the sharp growth in demand for gas.
The choice in favor of large purchases from Russia is explained by the stability of Gazprom as a supplier, despite Europe's political problems with Moscow. "Over the past 15 years they have not managed to find alternative suppliers of pipeline gas. Supplies of Azerbaijani gas by the TANAP and TAP pipelines will not exceed 11 billion cubic meters by 2025, and it is not much for the European market. Expectations for the North African, Nigerian gas though Algeria were not fulfilled due to resource constraints in the region, and the war in Libya. In fact, the Russian gas competes only with LNG," Alexey Belogoriev noticed.
But LNG cannot compete with Gazprom because of a big price difference. "The consumer normally chooses on the basis of prices, supply reliability and flexibility." In the end, the share of Russian gas on European market and consumption will not decline. We will face risks only after 2025," the expert predicts.
"These risks are associated primarily with the commission of two pipeline suppliers in Europe, primarily Iran, then Turkmenistan. Also, when gas prices rise, Gazprom will lose the existing price advantage over LNG suppliers. But in the current market conditions, Gazprom has a very good position," Alexey Belogoryev concluded


Vestnik Kavkaza

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