• EU imports a record level of Russian LNG in year to date

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Financial Times has reported that the EU has imported a record level of Russian LNG in the year to date.

Belgium and Spain have been the two largest buyers (behind only China globally). Purchases have been 40% above the levels in 2021 (although that was a period affected by Covid lockdowns), a figure which is 1.7% above 2022 levels to this point in the year. A spokesperson from non-governmental organisation Global Witness, which analysed the data from industry monitoring company Kpler, said that it is “shocking that countries in the EU have worked so hard to wean themselves off piped Russian fossil gas only to replace it with the shipped equivalent”.

The organisation estimated that from January to July this year, the purchases of Russian LNG on the part of EU countries amounted to some €5.29 billion. France has been the third largest buyer within the EU, followed by the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal. An LNG analyst at consultancy ISIS told the FT that “long-term buyers in Europe say they will keep taking contracted volumes unless it is banned by politicians”. If Russian LNG was banned altogether, the analyst believes alternative sources could be found.

The EU’s goal is to end imports of Russian fossil fuels by 2027. EU politicians have generally been urging European buyers to end their purchase of Russian LNG, with Kadri Simson, the EU’s energy commissioner, saying that the EU “can and should get rid of Russian gas completely as soon as possible, still keeping in mind our security of supply”.