Massive Gas Imports Route May Stop at Any Point
As the Russia-Ukraine crisis unfolds, the massive gas imports route via Ukrainian trunk pipelines may stop at any point.
That’s according to GlobalData’s senior oil and gas analyst Veronika Kustkova, who warned that this brings an immediate threat to Europe while withdrawals from gas storages continue to rise. Kustkova added, however, that it is doubtful these gas storages will reach 2018 historical lows.
“European demand for gas has increased since 2020 and is expected to stay at the same level in the short term, placing Europe in an uncomfortable position as Qatar has already declared they will not be able to fulfil the supply shortage,” Kustkova said in a statement sent to Rigzone.
“According to Eurostat and GlobalData analysis, Russian imports made up 45 percent of EU imports in the first 10 months of 2021. Similarly, Russian gas exports are reliant on Europe and Turkey, which made up around 78 percent in 2021 despite increasing volumes going to China,” the analyst added in the statement.
“An alternative source of gas is U.S. LNG imports, but volumes will be constrained by capacity. However, medium-term increases will depend on new projects with the likes of the Rio Grande, which has already seen a delay,” Kustkova continued.
The GlobalData analyst highlighted that in the past two months GlobalData has seen U.S. LNG imports to Europe taking over from Russian pipeline gas for the first time in history.
“Another offset could be from wind and solar, but we will only see a substantial seven percent increase in the European energy mix in 2025,” Kustkova said.
Ukraine Energy System in Regular Mode
In a statement posted on its website early on February 24, which was translated from Ukrainian, the Ukraine energy ministry outlined that Russia was trying to destroy Ukraine’s military and critical infrastructure.
In that statement, the ministry, which said Ukraine’s armed forces had repelled an air attack, noted that the power system of the country was operating “normally” and said the availability of the necessary energy resources was “fully ensured”.
“From … [Thursday], the UES of Ukraine and burshtyn TPP island are synchronized into one power system operating autonomously from Russia and Belarus in a single regulatory block with the Moldovan energy system,” the ministry said in the statement.
“At all sites, security and security equipment have been strengthened. Systematic monitoring of the stability of enterprises and networks of the energy sector is taking place,” the ministry added in the statement.
“The main task for … [Thursday] is to provide Ukrainians, and first of all - our military, electric and thermal energy. Both the ministry of energy and all energy enterprises understand their responsibility and do their job,” the ministry continued.
In a later update at 5pm EEST, which was the final update of the day from the ministry, the organization outlined that some infrastructure had been damaged, but stated that the united energy system of Ukraine was operating steadily, fully provided with energy resources.
A televised address by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 21 revealed the Russian leader’s next move regarding Ukraine. On February 24, Russian forces further escalated a conflict with Ukraine.
The latest move drew widespread condemnation from world leaders, with U.S. President Joe Biden calling it an “unprovoked and unjustified attack”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling it a “barbaric”, and the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calling it “reckless”.
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