Russia overtook US as gas supplier to Europe in May

Europe’s gas imports from Russia overtook supplies from the US for the first time in almost two years in May, despite the region’s efforts to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

While one-off factors drove the reversal, it highlights the difficulty of further reducing Europe’s dependence on gas from Russia, with several eastern European countries still relying on imports from their neighbour.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow slashed its pipeline gas supplies to Europe and the region stepped up imports of LNG, which is shipped on specialised vessels with the US as a major provider.

The US overtook Russia as a supplier of gas to Europe in September 2022, and has since 2023 accounted for about a fifth of the region’s supply.

But last month, Russian-piped gas and LNG shipments accounted for 15 per cent of total supply to the EU, UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, according to data from ICIS.

LNG from the US made up 14 per cent of supply to the region, its lowest level since August 2022, the ICIS data showed.

Tags: Europe, LNG, Russia
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