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Spain has called on its companies to seek to lower imports of LNG from Russia, while the Spanish government looks to help other EU member states with energy and power supply this year, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said.
“It is desirable that traders seek to minimise imports of Russian gas and diversify the contracts they may hold,” Ribera said at a press briefing as carried by Reuters.
Unlike most of the EU, Spain does not depend on Russian pipeline gas, but it has the highest number of LNG import terminals in Europe—six.
Imports of LNG from Russia represented nearly 12 percent of Spain’s gas imports in May, compared to a 6.6 percent share of Russian LNG in May 2021, according to Reuters estimates.
Spain is now urging importers to minimize exposure to Russian LNG contracts while at the same time adopting some energy-saving measures in order to help other EU markets with power supply.
In May, the Spanish government passed a decree limiting the use of air conditioning in public buildings as part of a strategy to conserve energy and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Spain itself does not depend on gas from Russia, but its government is working to increase energy efficiency as the European Union looks to reduce reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of this year alone.
While Spain has six LNG import terminals, it is not well connected via pipelines to other countries, limiting European access to LNG imports.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, companies have been studying plans for possible offshore pipeline connections from Spain to Italy.
In May, energy infrastructure operator Snam of Italy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spanish energy and transmission system operator Enagas for a feasibility study on an offshore pipeline between Spain and Italy. Snam and Enagas will jointly mandate a technical feasibility study aimed at the potential construction of an offshore pipeline connecting Spain with Italy, “which would be beneficial to further diversify energy supply towards our country as well as Europe,” the Italian company said.
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com,