There will be alternatives to Russian natural gas supply in the five-year horizon, World Bank President David Malpass told CBS in an interview aired on Sunday.
"Markets look forward so they can look at the five-year time horizon and realize that there's a lot of energy available if it's mobilized, there are alternatives to the Russian dominance of the gas market, for example," Malpass said on the on 'Face the Nation' program.
"And so whether those changes are made will be important," the World Bank's head said.
In the short term, replacing Russian gas is nearly impossible, say analysts and one of the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporters, Qatar.
Yet, with the Russian invasion, and even before that, the high dependence of Europe on Russian pipeline gas was a source of concern in Europe, and countries were looking to buy more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to secure this winter's supply in light of decade-low gas volumes in storage and Russian pipeline deliveries not going above the contractual obligations.
"Right in the short run, there is upward pressure, including on LNG liquefied natural gas that the U.S. ships to Europe and Europe will need a lot more, but it's available," the World Bank's Malpass told CBS.
Just before Putin launched an attack on Ukraine last week, Qatar said it could divert only 10-15 percent of its LNG cargo contracts to other destinations right now. Replacing Russian gas deliveries to Europe in the short term is "almost impossible," Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi said two days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"Most of the LNG are tied to long-term contracts and destinations that are very clear. So, to replace that sum of volume that quickly is almost impossible," the minister noted.
While the European Union and the United States are trying to avoid hitting Europe's energy supply and raising American gasoline prices even higher with sanctions, Germany, for example, made a major U-turn in its energy policy on Sunday. Germany will support the construction of two LNG import terminals and is not leaving any energy source – not even coal or nuclear – off the table as it will now look to cut energy dependence on one supplier.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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