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Russia Dethrones U.S. as Top EU Natural Gas Supplier

Russia became the biggest supplier of natural gas to Europe last month, for the first time since 2022, replacing the United States at the top spot.

“It’s striking to see the market share of Russian gas and [liquefied natural gas] inch higher in Europe after all we have been through, and all the efforts made to decouple and de-risk energy supply,” ICIS head of gas analytics, Tom Marzec-Manser, told the Financial Times.

Indeed, the European Union has been hard at work trying to reduce the amount of Russian natural gas that enters the bloc but it appears now that all that work has been more words than action. The EU was also recently reported by Bloomberg to be discussing ways around the end of Russia’s gas transit deal with Ukraine so the gas could keep flowing.

Ukraine declared it would not renew its transit deal with Gazprom after it expires at the end of the year but some European Union member states are dependent on those pipeline supplies, hence the urgent discussions. Per one Reuters report, the EU and Ukraine had approached the Azeri government for help mediating a deal with Russia on the continued flow of gas to Europe.

In the meantime, the EU continues issuing sanctions against Russia and is trying to ban imports of liquefied natural gas from the country—even as these imports run at all-time highs. Imports of LNG from the United States, on the other hand, have declined, according to data from ICIS.

While Russian gas imports covered 15% of the needs of the EU, the UK, Switzerland and the Western Balkan nations, U.S. imports covered 14% of them, the data showed.

This state of affairs will not last, however, according to ICIS’ Marzec-Manser. “Russia has limited flexibility to hold on to this share [in Europe] as demand [for gas] rises into next winter, whereas overall US LNG production is only growing with yet more new capacity coming to the global market by the end of the year,” he told the FT.

Besides, as the weather warms during the summer, Russia would probably start shipping more LNG to Asia via the Northern Sea Route, the analyst said.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 17 2024 said:
    Despite the most unprecedented sanctions in history imposed on Russia, Russia has been winning against the United States and the EU.

    1- Russia has already prevailed on the battlefields of Ukraine as evidenced by failure of Ukraine troops with direct and indirect involvement by US-led NATO to mount any attacks on Russian troops.

    2- Russia's economy has become the the world's fourth-largest according to the latest data from the World Bank overtaking both Japan and Germany.

    3- Russia's economy is growing much faster than the United States' and the EU's according to the IMF. In fact it is the fastest growing economy among the world's major economies with the exception of China and India.

    4- Russian exports of crude oil and petroleum products are breaking records despite the OPEC+ cuts.

    5- And now we are told that Russian supplies of both piped gas and LNG to the EU have overtaken US LNG supplies supplying 15% of the EU's needs compared with 14% by the US..

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • George Doolittle on June 17 2024 said:
    *"sanctions work!"* absolutely

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