EU Is Hooked on Russia LNG and Paying Billions to Keep It Coming
Comment of the Day

November 30 2022

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

EU Is Hooked on Russia LNG and Paying Billions to Keep It Coming

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“Russian LNG has to continue to flow,” said Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a researcher at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. “We need that on the global LNG balance: it is already tight enough as it is. I think most European countries are indeed happy to turn a blind eye on this.”

Among European nations, only the UK and Baltic states have stopped buying Russian LNG. By contrast, Russian oil has been widely shunned by buyers across the region, and an EU ban is set to come into force on Dec. 5.
A complete embargo on Russian gas has never been seriously considered, given the scarcity of global supply and the potential for an even tighter market next year. Yet the EU has made efforts to find alternative supplies. In March, the bloc pledged to replace almost two-thirds of its gas imports from Russia this year, with most of the new volumes coming in the form of global LNG.

Russian gas now makes up less than 10% of the region’s supply of the fuel, down from more than a third last year, but the share of LNG in Russia’s deliveries is close to half.


Eoin Treacy's view

There is a great deal of discussion about the prospect of a price cap on Russian oil and gas exports. This is the alternative to a full embargo on Russia imports which are slated to go into effect next week. Since Europe still relies on Russia for 10% of its gas, the “price cap” is a virtual necessity to keep economic activity moving even if it is impossible to enforce effectively. That suggests a deal will be reached in coming days.
European natural gas continues to firm from the region of the 200-day MA as cold weather arrives.
Canada’s Vermillion Energy is one of the biggest domestic European energy producers. The share spent most of this year ranging but it is currently firming from the region of the 200-day MA.

While Europe’s energy availability situation remains precarious, Brent crude is now trading in contango between the 1st and 2nd month contracts. That’s one more indicator to suggest we are in the mature stage of this economic expansion and to expect trouble in the first half of next year.

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