Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd
Innovative Energy Consultancy Ltd

If Russia Invades Ukraine, What Will Happen to Europe’s Energy Supply?

With worldwide prices skyrocketing, little renewable energy production and the recent cold winter depleting supplies, the continent is bracing itself for a possible cut-off as retaliation for siding with Ukraine.

In recent weeks, fears are rising about the possible invasion of Ukraine from the estimated 100,000  Russian troops stationed outside its border.  Concern revolves around Europe’s dependency on Russia for their energy.  With low stockpiles and approximately a third of its natural gas coming from the Communist nation, the crisis exposes the vulnerability of the European Union.

Though it is unclear if Russia would take this drastic action, there is some belief that Russia may withhold gas sent through pipelines crossing Ukraine. Russia pumped 175 billion cubic meters of gas into Europe last year, nearly a quarter of it through those pipelines.  Other pipelines that may remain operational are those under the Baltic Sea and through Poland still operating.

Critical to this equation is the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic which was completed in September 2021 but has never run as it is still waiting for operational regulations to be resolved.  Russia could suggest beginning operations through this pipeline to make up for lost gas however its operators may face U.S. sanctions if an invasion does take place.

Former U.S. diplomat Dan Fried, who, as State Department coordinator for sanctions divised measures against Russia when it invaded the Crimean pennisula in 2014, warns, “If they push it too far, they’re going to make a breach with Europe irreparable, and they have to sell the oil and gas someplace.”

The Biden administration is in talks with worldwide liquified natural gas (LNG) producers to see if they can help supply Europe.  However, there is concern that there may not be enough available and it would equate to only two-thirds of what is required.

Read the full story here as reported in The Independent.

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