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Europe aims to cut off Russian gas supply permanently

European member states are being prepared to stop using Russian piped gas completely from 2023. In fact, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson has asked the member states to get rid of Russian gas completely.!$#

“We received last year around 20 bcm of Russian LNG. I think that we can and should get rid of Russian gas completely as soon as possible, still keeping in mind our security of supply. I encourage all Member States and all companies to stop buying Russian LNG and not to sign any new contracts with Russia once the existing contracts have expired,” Simson said addressing RTRE committee of the European Parliament on one year of REPowerEU.

She also proposed to Member States to prolong the voluntary demand reduction by 15% until next year. This has worked well and it's the best guarantee to achieve an adequate level of storage by November. EU Member States not just committed but successfully reduced their demand by more than 19% between August and January 2023, saving 42 bcm of gas.

Since September 2022, Russian gas has remained about 8% of all pipeline gas imported in the EU. Pipeline gas imports from Russia amounted 61 bcm last year. The first gas supplier to Europe is no longer Russia. It is Norway.

Some doubted that Europe would ever be able to receive the LNG it needed to replace Russian gas, due to limitations in the physical capacity of LNG terminals. But facts tell a different story, said the EU Energy Commissioner.

In less than one year, 3 new terminals were opened, and 5 more will opened by the end of the year – for a total capacity of 50 bcm.

“In 2022 we received in total 135 bcm of LNG from the global market. From the US, for instance, we received 56.4 bcm. This is 34 billion cubic meters more than in previous years,” said Simson.

Europe’s total LNG imports moved up from 80 bcm in 2021, to 135 bcm in 2022, augmented by 68%. New upcoming LNG receiving terminals will boost the EU's regasification capacity to some 227 bcm by 2024 from current 178 bcm. 

But as important as diversification was our increased efficiency, reduced demand and an acceleration of renewables, said Simson.