Many European countries have been left fearful of a gas supply crisis as the Russian President turns the screw on supplies after a fallout with Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Nord Stream 2 will transport gas from Russia into Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland – which has already sparked fears of it being used as a “weapon”. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Putin struck a deal that will see this pipeline, which is due to be completed in October, be delivered by Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom.
It will deliver gas over 745 miles and Mr Putin is said to be hoping to stop Berlin from implementing EU laws across the system, which is said to be the reason behind his latest move.
But while this threat will put pressure on German gas supplies, it also puts pressure on those who will import the gas that travels through the pipeline.
As the UK imports Russian gas indirectly through the Netherlands, some experts are worried that the UK could face gas rationing.
But Professor Michael Bradshaw, a global energy expert from Warwick Business School, said that Brexit Britain can outsmart the Kremlin.
He told Express.co.uk: “We’re very fortunate that we have a trading relationship with Norway where we have pipeline fields coming directly from them to the UK that we can rely on a certain amount of Norwegian supply.”
Norway, which is not a member state of the EU, is the main supplier of both crude oil and natural gas for the UK.
In 2020, some 11.7 million metric tonnes of crude oil and 1.4 million metric tons of natural gas were imported from Norway.
This means that the UK has a range of gas sources and places less reliance on Russian gas, meaning it can import gas from elsewhere if and when Putin decides to limit the amount of gas that travels into the EU.
Meanwhile, a 2019 analysis showed 41 percent of the EU’s imports of natural gas came from Russia, and just 16 percent from Norway.
Prof Bradshaw said: “Have we got the necessary infrastructure to deliver gas and access gas markets? yes, we do.”
“We’ve got gas coming from Qatar, from the US, Trinidad and Tobago has been a source of supply.
“Ironically we do get a lot more Russian gas than we used to, but not from the pipelines, we get it as LNG coming into our LNG terminals.”
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“That has diversified our supply.”
LNG or liquified natural gas, is another form of gas that is a separate source from pipeline gas that helps to further reduce the UK’s reliance on Russian pipeline gas.
With gas prices already at a record high this summer, it has meant that more coal is also being burned in the UK to meet energy demands.
The cold beginning to the year saw many other countries dip into their gas reserves too, pushing up prices.
An old coal plant has now been fired up in Lincolnshire, known as West Burton A, which had previously been on standby.