EU’s gas imports from Russia decreased by 70% in 1 year

The amount of natural gas imported by the European Union (EU) from Russia decreased by about 70 percent in July compared to the same month of the previous year, and fell below 100 million cubic meters per day.

A significant part of the sanctions that the EU started to implement after the war include steps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels imported from Russia.

In this context, the EU aims to completely cut oil imports from Russia by the end of the year, while reducing natural gas imports by two thirds.

Imports of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia were completely stopped under the sanctions that came into effect on August 10. Before the war, Russia’s share in the EU’s coal imports was around 45 percent.

According to the information compiled by the AA correspondent from the International Energy Agency (IEA) data, while the EU imported approximately 300 million cubic meters of gas from Russia in July last year, this amount fell below 100 million cubic meters as of July 2022. Thus, the amount of natural gas imported by the EU from Russia decreased by about 70 percent. It is predicted that this will decrease below 80 million cubic meters in the coming months.

On the other hand, the EU, which imported 400 million cubic meters of gas per day from Russia in the January-July period of 2021, was calculated as 240 million cubic meters per day in the same period of this year.

Russian energy company Gazprom’s unilateral gas flow to many EU countries in the second quarter and significantly reducing the amount of gas it transmits via Nord Stream in June were also effective in the decrease in gas imports from Russia.

In this context, natural gas flow to Germany, Italy, France, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria was restricted, while exports to 6 countries were completely stopped since the Russia-Ukraine War.

Russia, which first cut off natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria on April 27, stopped imports to Finland on May 20, the Netherlands on May 31 and Denmark on June 1. Finally, on July 30, gas supplies to Latvia were suspended. These countries were importing approximately 22.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia.

In addition, Gazprom stated that as of 27 July, a maximum of 33 million cubic meters of natural gas can be shipped to Europe per day through the Nord Stream pipeline, and reduced the pipeline’s shipment capacity to 20 percent.

The EU met most of its reduced imports in this period with liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

EU bought 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day from Russia in July

The EU, which imported approximately 11 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products per day in 2021, supplied approximately 30 percent of this amount (3.4 million barrels) from Russia.

During this period, the EU recorded an average of 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil imports from Russia. Approximately 800 thousand barrels of crude oil imports are received directly through the Drujba pipeline. The EU’s purchase of petroleum products from Russia was calculated as 1.2 million barrels per day on average last year. Diesel imports constitute 500 thousand barrels of this amount.

On the other hand, the EU imported 1.9 million barrels of crude oil per day from Russia in July, according to data from real-time data tracking company Vortexa. This figure means a decrease of 150 thousand barrels per day compared to the average of the last 3 months, and an average of 800 thousand barrels per day compared to the pre-war period.

The EU’s diesel imports from Russia increased by 22 percent in July compared to the same period of the previous year, reaching an average of 680 thousand barrels per day.

Flow continues on the Drujba line

Oil flow through Ukraine in the Drujba pipeline, which is the main line for the transport of Russian oil to the EU, was suspended on 4 August and resumed on 10 August.

Drujba, one of the largest crude oil lines in the world with a length of approximately 5,500 kilometers, passes through Ukraine and Belarus and reaches Poland and Germany, while the southern part of the line extends to Czechia and Hungary.

The technical capacity of the said line is 1.2-1.4 million barrels per day. According to the IEA, Russia’s crude oil imports to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic via the southern leg of the Drujba pipeline stand at 250,000 barrels per day.

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