The crap that I have been telling to all…!
Published: Aug 28, 2014 12:01 a.m. ET
Several European countries import 100% of gas from Russia
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — As winter nears and tensions in eastern Ukraine mount, Russia is giving several European Union countries yet another reason to worry about the conflict between the two: natural gas.
Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria receive 100% of their natural gas imports from Russia, the Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.
Romania and Bulgaria receive that gas through pipelines that cross Ukraine.
Overall, 30% of natural gas consumed in Europe (including countries outside the European Union) came from Russia last year, with 16% of natural gas consumed in Europe passing through pipeline networks in Ukraine.
Top Russian gas importers include Germany and France. In the past, as much as 80% of the Russian gas traveled through Ukraine, but that percentage has fallen to 50% to 60% once a pipeline under the Baltic Sea connected Russia and Germany three years ago, according to the EIA.
The threat of Russia withholding the natural gas it abundantly exports to Europe never left the table, of course. It was given a new urgency, however, after media reports Wednesday quoting the Ukrainian prime minister as saying that is exactly Russia’s plan for this winter.
There are stockpiles of natural gas following a relatively mild winter this year, so short-term effects would be limited. Long-term solutions, however, would be harder — and more expensive — to come by.
More pipelines are connecting European countries, and some natural gas from smaller European producers would trickle in. For the long term, the more Russia-dependent European countries such as Lithuania are looking at liquefied natural gas import terminals in an effort to move beyond Russia, but that would be a very expensive route to take.
LNG exports to Asia hover around $15 per million British thermal units, although prices slumped recently. Europe could expect to pay around $11 per million Btu. In the U.S., natural gas futures for September deliver closed at $3.96 per million Btu on Wednesday.