Russia surpasses US in gas supplies to Europe – FT

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Shipments from across the Atlantic fell behind those from Moscow in May for the first time in nearly two years, data shows 

Europe’s gas imports from Russia overtook supplies from the US in May for the first time in almost two years, the Financial Times has reported, citing data from the consultancy ICIS.  

Last month, shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US reportedly accounted for 14% of the entire supply to the region, marking the lowest since August 2022. Meanwhile, Russian pipeline gas along with LNG supplies made up 15% of total supply to Europe, defined as the EU, UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia.  

According to the newspaper, supplies in May were impacted by several factors, including a disruption of operations at a major US LNG export facility, as well as increased flows of Russian gas via the TurkStream gas pipeline ahead of planned maintenance that was carried out in June 5-12. Meanwhile, FT notes, demand for gas in the region has remained relatively weak, while storage levels are close to record highs for this time of year.  

Despite the sharp drop in Russian gas deliveries to the region due to Ukraine-related sanctions and the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, a number of European countries continue to greatly rely on Russian gas.   

Transit via Ukraine and the European branch of TurkStream are currently the only two operating conduits for piped Russian gas to reach central and southern Europe. Kiev had previously said that it won’t extend the current transit agreement with Russian energy giant Gazprom that expires at the end of 2024.  

Last month, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported, citing data tracked by the European Network of Gas Transportation System Operators (ENTSOG), that Russian gas supplies to the region via TurkStream had surged nearly 40% to 5.11 billion cubic meters in the first three months of the current year.  

In May, the European Council approved a regulation for renewable gas, natural gas, and hydrogen that will allow EU member states to suspend gas supplies from Russia and Belarus starting in 2026. It will also give the European Commission the option of temporarily excluding supplies of natural gas or LNG supplies from both nations for a period of up to one year.  

Earlier this month, the head of Russian oil major Rosneft, Igor Sechin, said that EU member states spent over $630 billion on non-Russian gas imports over the past three years through 2023. He added that this figure equals the EU’s total gas spending over the previous eight years.

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