Spain has called on its companies to cut LNG imports from Russia, while the Spanish government wants to help other EU member states with energy and power supplies this year, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said.
“It is desirable that traders strive to minimize Russian gas imports and diversify the contracts they may have,” Ribera said at a Reuters news conference.
Unlike most of the EU, Spain is not dependent on Russian pipeline gas, but it has the highest number of LNG import terminals in Europe: six.
According to Reuters estimates, LNG imports from Russia accounted for nearly 12 percent of Spanish gas imports in May, compared to a 6.6 percent share of Russian LNG in May 2021.
Spain is now urging importers to minimize exposure to Russian LNG contracts while taking some energy-saving measures to help power other EU markets.
In May, the Spanish government passed a decree restricting the use of air conditioning in public buildings as part of a strategy to save energy and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Spain itself is not dependent on gas from Russia, but the government is working to increase energy efficiency as the European Union aims to cut its dependence on Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of this year alone.
Although Spain has six LNG import terminals, it is not well connected to other countries by pipeline, limiting European access to LNG imports.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, companies have been studying plans for possible offshore pipeline connections from Spain to Italy.
In May, energy infrastructure manager Snam of Italy signed a memorandum of understanding with Spanish energy and transmission system operator Enagas for a feasibility study on an offshore pipeline between Spain and Italy. Snam and Enagas will jointly commission a technical feasibility study aimed at the possible construction of an offshore pipeline connecting Spain to Italy, “which would be beneficial for the further diversification of energy supplies to our country and Europe,” the Italian company said. .
By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com
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