Helena Lyng Blak
5 weeks ago

Russia Reclaims Second Spot in European Gas Imports, Bumping US to Third

Despite efforts to reduce reliance on Russian energy, recent data shows Russia has overtaken the US as the second-largest gas supplier to Europe.
Photo by yevgeniy111
Photo by yevgeniy111

Significant efforts have been made in the European Union and its neighboring allies to reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian energy resources ever since Russia escalated the Russo-Ukrainian war by launching a full-scale invasion in 2022.

And for a good while, the United States managed to surpass Russia and became one of the primary suppliers of gas to Europe, with Norway sitting securely at the number one position since late 2022

But in May 2024, after almost two years at the top, the US was relegated to third place, as Russia claimed the position of the second biggest supplier of gas imports in Europe.

“It’s striking to see the market share of Russian gas and [LNG] inch higher in Europe after all we have been through, and all the efforts made to decouple and de-risk energy supply,” said Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at consultancy ICIS, according to OilPrice.com.

In 2023, the EU reported that 30.3% of all gas imports in the union were provided by Norway, with the United States providing 19.4%. 

According to the European Council, the EU's imports of Russia’s pipeline gas dropped from more than 40% in 2021 to roughly 8% in 2023. In 2023, pipeline gas and LNG combined amounted to less than 15% of the total gas imports. 

In May 2024, Russian exports inched ever so slightly higher, providing 15% of the total supply to the EU, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia, with the US providing 14%. 

What is LNG? 

Whenever the conversation turns to natural gas, LNG is bound to come up. But what exactly is it? 

LNG stands for Liquefied Natural Gas and is, as the name suggests, natural gas that has been liquefied by being cooled down to -259°F (-161°C). 

By liquefying natural gas, the resource can be moved across vast distances, such as from the US to Europe. After transport, it is returned to its gaseous state and dispersed through pipelines.

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