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EU Debates Proposed $3 Billion Spain-France Gas Pipeline

A proposed new natural gas pipeline connecting Spain and France may not make economic sense, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, said on Thursday. 

“It is unclear if such a project would make sense economically,” Breton said by Reuters in the German capital Berlin. 

According to French President Emmanuel Macron, a new pipeline would not be necessary because the current two pipelines are not used to their full capacity.

In August, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the idea of a gas pipeline to connect Portugal, Spain, and central Europe via France and said he supported the new connection. 

Spain does not depend on gas from Russia, but it has six LNG import terminals and lies on the route of pipelines from North Africa to Europe. Spain, however, is not well connected via pipelines to other European countries, limiting European access to LNG imports. 

New LNG terminals in northern and eastern Europe would be a better option to alleviate the European gas crisis than a new natural gas pipeline from Spain to France, the French energy transition ministry said in the middle of August. A new gas pipeline between Spain and France would take years to operational and cost at least $3 billion (3 billion euro), the French ministry said in a statement by Reuters

The European gas crisis has significantly worsened over the past week after Russia said natural gas supply via the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany would remain shut until the Western sanctions that impede gas turbine repairs are lifted. Vladimir Putin also upped the ante in the energy war, saying on Wednesday that Russia would stop supplying all energy products to Europe if the EU and its Western allies imposed price caps on Russian oil and natural gas.  

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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