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Europe readies for Russian gas troubles: IEA

25 Aug 2014, 4.26 pm GMT

Europe readies for Russian gas troubles: IEA

Stavanger, 25 August (Argus) — European countries are working to fill gas storage and already have reverse flows in place in some parts of the continent in preparation for potential gas disruptions should the Ukraine crisis deepen, IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven told Argus today.

Around 30pc of Europe's gas comes from Russia and a lot of it goes through Ukraine. The EU and US have imposed sanctions on Russia because of Moscow's alleged involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. The measures target certain areas of the oil industry, but not gas production.

There have not been any disruptions in Russia-to-Europe flows so far, but the IEA is closely monitoring the situation, van der Hoeven said. Gas prices in Europe are not rising, which means the market is quite confident disruptions are unlikely, she said.

Should the situation change, Europe will be looking at alternatives, such as Norwegian gas and LNG. But the alternatives would come at a cost.

Lithuania and Norwegian state-controlled Statoil last week finalised an LNG import agreement. The first cargo of the five-year contract is expected to be delivered before the end of this year. Lithuania has been entirely reliant on Russian gas supplies.

kr/tdf

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