Jan 30, 2023
Germany Wants to Take Action to Curb Russian LNG Imports
(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s government wants to curb imports of Russian liquefied natural gas, adding to efforts to reduce its reliance on the country’s energy supplies, according to a government document seen by Bloomberg.
“The federal government does not support the procurement of Russian LNG,” deputy energy minister Patrick Graichen wrote in response to a set of questions submitted by conservative opposition lawmakers. “The federal government has informed companies that it will take appropriate measures to exclude purchases of Russian LNG if possible.”
A spokesperson for the Economy Ministry, which is also responsible for energy, declined to comment on the document and on what specific measures the government was taking.
Read more: EU Is Hooked on Russia LNG and Paying Billions to Keep It Coming
Europe’s pipeline gas flows from Russia have fallen to historic lows since the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine last year. To make up for the shortfall, LNG shipments from all over the world have surged — including from Russia — and aren’t subject to any EU sanctions. Only the UK and a few smaller states formally have banned imports of the super-chilled fuel from Russia, with many of those cargoes diverted to ports elsewhere.
Countries such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain are still accepting shipments of Russian LNG, which now make up about 6% of the continent’s gas imports, according to German lobby group Zukunft Gas.
The German government is aware that the Russian LNG is reaching import terminals in neighboring countries, Graichen wrote. However, it has no information about transport and consumption of the fuel within Europe, and therefore can’t estimate how much of it is stored at present.
In the future, companies will be obliged to inform the Commission about the origin of natural gas purchases if their volume is greater than five terawatt-hours, according to the document.
--With assistance from Elena Mazneva.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.