EU reselling Russian gas – FT
The EU is reselling more than a fifth of its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia to other parts of the world, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
Transshipment of Russian LNG has been banned in the UK and the Netherlands, although data shows that permitted supplies of Russian LNG are “routinely transferred” between tankers in Belgium, France, and Spain before being exported to buyers in other countries, the outlet said.
According to the FT, ports in the three EU countries continue to receive significant volumes of Russian gas from the Arctic Yamal LNG plant. The facility’s top shareholders are Russia’s second-largest gas producer, Novatek, the China National Petroleum Corporation, and French energy major TotalEnergies.
The article stated that the ports of Zeebrugge in Belgium and Montoir-de-Bretagne in France have received the largest shipments of Russian LNG of all EU ports this year.
“Transshipment usually takes place between Russian ‘ice class’ tankers that are used to run between the Yamal peninsula and north-western Europe and regular LNG tankers that then sail on to other ports, freeing up the ice-class vessels to return north,” the FT wrote.
The EU imported 17.8 billion cubic meters of Russian LNG between January and September, according to the outlet. About 21% of this amount was transferred to tankers heading to other countries, including China, Japan, and Bangladesh, data from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis revealed.
Imports of pipeline gas from Russia have mostly been halted amid restrictions related to the Ukraine conflict. However, EU countries have continued to buy record volumes of LNG from the sanctioned country this year, despite the bloc’s pledge to stop consuming Russian energy.
EU governments were caught in a bind and member states would find it “hard to bang the drum [against] exporting [Russian LNG] elsewhere if they are using it themselves,” said Amund Vik, former Norwegian state secretary for energy and adviser to the Eurasia Group consultancy. “You will see them tiptoeing around this topic this winter.”
Spain, France, and Belgium were among the countries that boosted purchases of Russian LNG, which has so far gone unsanctioned despite repeated calls to turn off the tap from some EU officials.
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