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The Russian Federation supplies a significant volume of fossil fuels and is the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the European Union. In 2007, the European Union imported from Russia 185 million tonnes of crude oil, which accounted for 32.6% of total oil import, and 100.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent of natural gas, which accounted 38.7% of total gas import.[1]

The Urengoy–Pomary–Uzhgorod pipeline was constructed in 1982–1984 with Western financing to provide Soviet gas to the Western European market.[citation needed]

The Russian state-owned company Gazprom exports natural gas to Europe. It also controls a large number of subsidiaries, including various infrastructure assets. According to the study published by the Research Centre for East European Studies, the liberalization of the EU gas market has driven Gazprom's expansion in Europe by increasing its share in the European downstream market. It has established sale subsidiaries in many of its export markets, and has also invested in access to industrial and power generation sectors in Western and Central Europe. In addition, Gazprom has established joint ventures to build natural gas pipelines and storage depots in a number of European countries.[2] Transneft, a Russian state-owned company responsible for the national oil pipelines, is another Russian company supplying energy to Europe.[citation needed]

History[edit]

In the early 1980s there were American efforts, led by the Reagan administration, to convince European countries through which a proposed Soviet gas pipeline was to be built to deny firms responsible for construction the ability to purchase supplies and parts for the pipeline and associated facilities. The pipeline was built despite these protests and the rise of large Russian gas firms such as Gazprom as well as increased Russian fossil fuel production has facilitated a large expansion in the quantity of gas supplied to the European market since the 1990s.

Natural gas deliveries[edit]

In 2007, 38.7% of the European Union's natural gas total imports and 24.3% of consumed natural gas originated from Russia.[1][3] As of 2009, Russian natural gas was delivered to Europe through 12 pipelines, of which three were direct pipelines (to Finland, Estonia and Latvia), four through Belarus (to Lithuania and Poland) and five through Ukraine (to Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Poland).[3] In 2011, an additional pipeline, Nord Stream (directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea), opened.[4]

The largest importers of Russian gas in the European Union are Germany and Italy, accounting together for almost half of the EU gas imports from Russia. Other larger Russian gas importers (over 5 billion cubic meter per year) in the European Union are France, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Slovakia.[5][6] The largest non-EU importers of Russian natural gas are Ukraine, Turkey and Belarus.[5]

According to the European Commission, the share of Russian natural gas in the member states' domestic gas consumption in 2007 was the following:[3]

  •  Estonia 100%
  •  Finland 100%
  •  Latvia 100%
  •  Lithuania 100%
  •  Slovakia 98%
  •  Bulgaria 92%
  •  Czech Republic 77.6%
  •  Greece 76%
  •  Hungary 60%
  •  Slovenia 52%
  •  Austria 49%
  •  Poland 48.15%
  •  Germany 36%
  •  Italy 27%
  •  Romania 27%
  •  France 14%
  •  Belgium 5%

The shares of Russian natural gas in the domestic gas consumption in non-EU countries in Europe were in 2006:[5]

  •  Republic of Macedonia 100%
  •  Belarus 98%
  •  Serbia,  Montenegro 87%
  •  Ukraine 66%
  •  Turkey 64%
  •  Croatia 37%
  •   Switzerland 12%

At the same time, the variety of national policies and stances of larger exporters versus larger dependents of Russian gas, together with the segmentation of the European gas market, has become a prominent issue in European politics toward Russia, with significant geopolitical implications for economic and political ties between the EU and Russia. These ties have occasionally led to calls for greater European energy diversity, although such efforts are complicated by the fact that many European customers have long term legal contracts for gas deliveries despite the disputes, most of which stretch beyond 2025–2030.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Energy Dialogue EU–Russia. The Tenth Progress Report. (PDF). European Commission. November 2009. pp. 4–6. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Koszalin, Andreas Heinrich (5 February 2008). "Gazprom's Expansion Strategy in Europe and the Liberalization of EU Energy Markets" (PDF). Russian Analytical Digest (Research Centre for East European Studies) (34 Russian Business Expansion). Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c Commission staff working document–Accompanying document to the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to safeguard security of gas supply and repealing Directive 2004/67/EC. Assessment report of directive 2004/67/EC on security of gas supply {COM(2009) 363} (PDF). European Commission. 16 July 2009. pp. 33; 56; 63–76. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  4. ^ Juergen Baetz (8 November 2011). "Merkel, Medvedev inaugurate new gas pipeline". Associated Press. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Country analysis briefs: Russia (PDF). Energy Information Administration. May 2008. p. 11. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Noël, Pierre (May 2009). A Market Between Us: Reducing the Political Cost of Europe's Dependence on Russian Gas (PDF). EPRG Working Paper Series. University of Cambridge Electricity Policy Research Group. p. 2; 38. EPRG0916. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Pirani, Simon; Yafimova, Katja (February 2009). The Russo-Ukrainian gas dispute of January 2009: a comprehensive assessment (PDF). NG 27. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-901795-85-1. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
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