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Why is Europe so dependent on Russian natural gas?

2022-06-24 09:17:09Chinese industry information station

Germany warns , Russia's cuts in European gas supplies could trigger a collapse in the energy market , Its influence is no less than that of Lehman Brothers when it triggered the financial crisis .

1. What changes have the conflict brought ? 

EU plans to 2022 By the end of the year, natural gas imports from Russia will be cut by two-thirds , As a counterattack to Western sanctions , Russian President Vladimir Putin asked all “ unfriendly ” Countries from 4 The ruble must be used as the settlement currency for natural gas transactions from January . According to Russian regulations , European countries must open special accounts in foreign currencies and rubles at Gazprom to handle gas purchase transactions . Poland 、 Bulgaria 、 The Danish 、 Finland 、 The Netherlands has been punished by Russia for refusing to comply with the new regulations “ Gave up the ghost ”. later , Russia has also significantly reduced its pipeline gas supply to the European continent , Even countries that are trying to comply with the new payment rules have seen a decline in natural gas supplies . The end result is Germany 、 Italy 、 The French 、 Users in Austria have not received all the required natural gas .

2. How Russia became so important ?

With its vast Siberian gas fields , Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves . It's in 1940 In the s, natural gas was exported to Poland , And in 1960 Pipes were laid in the s , To transport natural gas to or transit through the former Soviet republics . But since the collapse of the Soviet Union , Russia and Ukraine have had many disputes over natural gas pipelines crossing Ukrainian territory , Prompting the Russian authorities to look for other routes .

3. How fragile Europe is ?

2021 The tight supply situation at the end of the year gives us a deep understanding of how much Europe depends on Russian natural gas exports , Benchmark prices have more than tripled . As the maintenance time of the North Sea gas field is longer than expected , And some liquefied natural gas (LNG) To Asia, where demand is soaring , The EU's natural gas stock has fallen to an all-time low .2022 year , Because Russia's supply cannot be guaranteed , Europe's LNG The import volume increased rapidly , Domestic suppliers promise to maintain high production capacity as much as possible , EU buyers from Africa 、 Central Asia and other places are looking for new sources of supply . But Russia has a huge presence in the gas market , It is difficult for Europe to find a complete substitute in the short term . By 6 Mid month , The flow of natural gas from Moscow to Europe through the North Stream pipeline has dropped sharply 60% about , Forcing utilities to tap into natural gas reserves that are normally used during peak winter periods .

4. How fragile Germany is ?

More than half of the EU's natural gas and a third of its oil depend on Russian supplies . The standoff between Russia and Western countries has led Germany to vigorously develop renewable energy and invest in LNG Import facilities , But it will be many years before these can be put into operation . meanwhile , Germany is also restarting highly polluting coal-fired power plants , And provide subsidies to other energy suppliers in order to offset the impact of the sharp decline in Russian natural gas imports .

5. What is the impact on other countries ?

CEE countries are more vulnerable to Russian gas supply disruptions , Because compared with Western and southern European countries , These economies have fewer alternatives .2021 In, Russia's natural gas supply accounted for... Of Italy's demand 40%, But Italy has been trying to find alternative sources around the world , And has reached new agreements with some suppliers , Especially in North Africa . Some smaller gas buyers, such as Finland, plan to use floating LNG terminal . Poland, which gets most of its electricity from thermal power plants, has invested in a new pipeline from Norway , It is expected that the pipeline will be completed in 10 Month on .

6. What role does Ukraine play ?

About one third of Russian natural gas passes through Ukraine to Europe . As Russia and Ukraine fought fiercely in eastern Ukraine , A gas crossing point in Ukraine has been closed , since 5 month 11 Since then , The supply of natural gas passing through the country has decreased . When Ukraine and Russia in 2019 year 12 When it becomes a five-year natural gas transit agreement in June , Ukrainian President Zelensky said that the country would gain at least 70 US $billion transit fee .

7. How did Russia cause supply disruption in the market before ?

2006 Years and 2009 year , Disputes with Ukraine over gas prices and siphons have led Russia to cut off supplies to Europe . The second time “ Gave up the ghost ” It lasted nearly two weeks in the cold winter . Slovakia and some Balkan countries have to ration natural gas , Shut down factories and cut power supply . Since then, , The most vulnerable countries are racing to lay pipelines , Connect the power grid and construct for import LNG Terminal .LNG It can be imported as far as Qatar and the United States .

8. What are the supply networks ?

The external supply mainly comes from Russia , Norway and Algeria , They account for about% of the EU's natural gas consumption 80%. Some of the largest economies face the greatest risks , Germany imports as much natural gas as 90%, A large part of it passes through the North Stream buried under the Baltic Sea 1 Pipeline No.1 delivers . This pipeline is from 2012 It has been in full operation since .(2 Pipeline was completed at the end of last year , But it was not used because of political factors , It is still shut down .) Belgium , Spain and Portugal face the problem of small storage capacity , The same is true in Britain , But Britain is no longer a member of the European Union and has closed its only large natural gas storage station . Continental Europe has a large number of natural gas pipelines , But many cross multiple borders , Leading to a large number of possible throat points .


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