Russia's Gas Export Industry Will Tumble in 2023 - Here's What You Need to Know
Russia's Gas Export Industry Will Tumble in 2023 - Here's What You Need to Know

Russia's Gas Export Industry Will Tumble in 2023 - Here's What You Need to Know

  • 28-Apr-2023 12:51 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

Europe: The evidence is building up to show a steady decline in Russia's crucial natural gas export industry since their invasion of Ukraine. The volume of gas exports by pipeline is estimated to decrease by up to 50% from last year, which was already a bad year for the industry. This decline is not restricted to pipeline gas either. The European Union is now considering cutting back imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia, which was the only positive result for the Russian natural gas industry in the previous year.

Russia has remarkably reduced its reliance on Europe, which happens to be its biggest natural gas consumer. This is a significant hit to Russia as Europe has always paid on time and full prices for its gas. Sadly, Russia's aggression towards Europe, combined with supply manipulation, has caused it to lose decades of efforts spent in establishing its dominance in the European market. Therefore, Norway has taken over as Europe's primary gas supplier.

According to Western estimates, pipeline exports could reduce by 50 percent in 2023. Surprisingly, Russia has managed to keep its share in the oil markets despite the Western embargoes. However, Russia's need to sell at a discount has significantly impacted its revenue.

Russia is facing difficulties in finding new customers for gas as most of the fuel is transported through fixed pipelines. Unlike liquefied natural gas which can be transported through ships, Russia has lower exporting capacity than the United States, Qatar, and Australia.

As a result, the petroleum industry in the United States celebrates an easy victory as they greatly increase shipments of liquefied natural gas to terminals across Europe. Pipeline exports of Russian gas to the European Union are expected to decrease by two-thirds this year, and the exports in 2022, the first year of the invasion, decreased by more than 50 percent.

Russia is expected to see an increase in gas sales to China and Turkey, which are its largest customers for gas. The country exports gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline and is looking to build another link to boost its exports. However, Europe, which used to be a significant market for Russian gas, has successfully reduced its dependence on Russian gas and other energy sources. Europe managed to increase imports of liquefied natural gas, mainly from the United States, and lower demand.

Gas consumption from August through March was almost 18 percent less than the average over those months from 2017 to 2022.

Europe as it has weathered the winter without much disruption, soothing the markets. The spike in European gas prices has fallen by almost 90% from its peak last August. This may lead to lower revenue for Moscow on the gas it does manage to sell.

However, the drop in Russian oil revenue was 29% in Q1 2023 from the previous quarter, with revenue at approximately $39 billion, as sanctions and price caps took effect. With this achievement, European leaders are considering extending their actions to include imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia.

Last year, Moscow reduced pipeline exports while bolstering liquefied natural gas (L.N.G.) shipments to Europe, primarily from an Arctic facility. In February, Russian L.N.G. shipments to Europe set a record high. However, it's highly likely that the European Union will prohibit further Russian L.N.G. purchases, especially since significant buyers of gas from the facility known as Yamal LNG are TotalEnergies, one of France's largest companies, and Naturgy, a major Spanish energy company. Despite this, European leaders may decide to forego Russian L.N.G., having mostly stopped importing Russian pipeline gas, and believe that it would inflict less harm.

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