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Spain’s Natural Gas Imports From Russia More Than Doubled In May

  • Spain’s imports of natural gas from Russia surged in May, accounting for 27.9% of the country’s total natural gas imports.
  • While the country’s imports from Russia climbed, its total natural gas imports dropped by 5.4% year-on-year.
  • The government of Spain has urged importers of liquified natural gas not to sign new contracts with Russian companies.

Spain’s imports of natural gas from Russia more than doubled in May compared to a year earlier and Russia accounted for 27.9% of Spain’s gas imports, second only to Algeria, data from the Spanish Energy Ministry showed on Monday.

Spain imported the equivalent of 9,663 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of natural gas from Russia in May, which was a 121.8% surge compared to the same month last year.

In May 2023, Spain’s total natural gas imports dropped by 5.4% year on year. LNG accounted for 71.4% of imports and pipeline deliveries made up the remaining 28.6%, the Spanish government data showed.

Net natural gas imports fell by 13.4% year-on-year in May.

Algeria was the top natural gas provider to Spain, with a share of 28.4% of supplies, followed by Russia with 27.9%, and Nigeria with 19.6%.

Spain has raised its imports of LNG from Russia since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As LNG imports surged, the Spanish government reportedly urged importers of liquefied natural gas not to sign new deals to purchase Russian LNG as the biggest buyer of Russia’s LNG in Europe looked to reduce dependence on Moscow’s gas.

The government of Spain, via Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera who is responsible for the country’s energy policy, sent a letter in the middle of March to Naturgy Energy, Repsol, TotalEnergies, Pavilion Energy, Enagás, Met Energy, Enet Energy, Energias de Portugal, Compañía Española de Petroleos, and BP Gas & Power Iberia, urging them not to sign new contracts, according to a letter from March seen by Bloomberg News.

The plea is not binding because there are no sanctions on Russian gas in Europe, but the letter anyway called on the LNG importers to “intensify the diversification of supply of liquefied natural gas and do without those from Russia.”

Minister Ribera told Reuters in May she believed that the EU would “sooner than later” move to ban imports of LNG from Russia.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 10 2023 said:
    Like everywhere in the world, energy security and economics take precedence on Western sanctions, hence Spain’s rising imports of Russian gas and LNG.

    I bet you any money that the EU will resume within 2-3 years its large imports of Russian piped gas because it can’t afford to satisfy its needs by imports of the more expensive LNG. After all Europe’s economy has virtually been built on cheap and plentiful Russian gas.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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