Alexey Belogoryev, Deputy Principal Director on Energy Studies at the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Prime agency on the possibility of France refusing to import Russian pipeline gas as early as 2022.
The expert explains that France has a significant "competitive" advantage: in 2021, it had the second largest free LNG regasification capacity in the EU after Spain (16.8 billion cubic meters). Germany, for example, does not have its own LNG terminals at all. And direct LNG intake, taking into account re-export, amounted to 18 billion cubic meters, which can cover more than 41% of domestic gas consumption.
"Russian pipeline gas provides about 30% of France's gas imports (there is practically no domestic production in the country, not counting the still modest production of biomethane). On average, Gazprom's supplies are about 13-14 billion cubic meters per year. But France - among the few EU countries that can theoretically completely abandon Russian pipeline gas this year," Belogoryev said.
“In general, if France manages to reduce gas consumption from 44 to about 38-39 billion cubic meters per year, which looks quite realistic, since demand in 2014 was even lower, then it may abandon Russian pipeline gas this year, not even significantly increasing LNG intake. But this experience is not applicable to most other EU countries, especially those located in Central and Eastern Europe," he concludes.
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