Baptiste Morin, edited by Gauthier Delomez 06:14, September 29, 2022
With the war in Ukraine and the incidents on the Nord Stream gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) could well upset the global geopolitics of the gas sector.
The European Union has also increased its imports in the first half of 2022, as the market becomes increasingly competitive.
The gas market is going through a tipping point.
While for decades Europe had relied largely on gas deliveries by pipe, the war in Ukraine and the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea is pushing it to bet on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The European Union has also increased its LNG imports by 60% in the first half of 2022.
"A gain in terms of energy security"
It is in a way a global battle being played out on the seas.
The actors are factory ships 350 meters long, LNG carriers.
It is on board that the liquefied natural gas is transported.
This one comes from Australia, Qatar, the United States, Algeria or Nigeria.
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This gas is liquefied for transport because in this form, it takes up 600 times less space in the tanks.
If European stocks are now 90% full, it is thanks to liquefied natural gas coming from all over the world.
"LNG represents a gain in terms of flexibility and therefore energy security", explains on Europe 1 Francis Perrin, research director at Iris.
"It's a security of outlets for sellers and supplies for buyers," he adds.
Energy independence, however limited
However, LNG offers limited energy independence.
He first asks to equip himself because to import liquid gas, you need terminals to regasify it.
With its six terminals, Spain is the best student in Europe.
France has four and a fifth will see the light of day next year off Le Havre.
On the other hand, Germany is still lacking and is working hard to catch up.
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Added to this is an ultra-competitive market.
China is the largest LNG importer in the world.
It is Europe that has sold four million tonnes of this gas to Europe from the United States or Africa in recent months, and it is also Europe that can decide at any time to keep its orders to fulfill its stocks and drive up prices further.