Polish PM Calls For EU Energy Union To End Dependence On Russian Gas

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Monday, April 21, 2014
Polish Prime Minister

 

The European Union must create an energy union to secure its gas supply because the current dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk wrote in an article in the Financial Times.

Russia, which provides around one third of the EU's oil and gas, sent shockwaves through the international community with its military intervention and annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March.

The action prompted the United States and its European allies to begin imposing sanctions on President Vladimir Putin's inner circle and to threaten to penalise key sectors of Russia's economy if Russia escalates tensions with Ukraine.

An international agreement to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was faltering on Monday, with pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they have seized in the east of the country.

"Regardless of how the stand-off over Ukraine develops, one lesson is clear: excessive dependence on Russian energy makes Europe weak," Tusk wrote in the article.

He noted that the EU was creating a banking union, with a single supervisor, and a single resolution mechanism and fund to close down failing institutions.

The EU was also already jointly buying uranium for its nuclear power plants. The approach to Russian gas should be the same, he said.

"I therefore propose an energy union. It will return the European Community to its roots," he said.

Such a union should be based on several elements, he said, the first of which would be the creation of a single European body that would buy gas for the whole 28-nation bloc.

Another would be that if one or more EU countries were threatened with being cut off from gas supplies, the others would help them through "solidarity mechanisms".

MORE GAS STORAGE, LINKS

The EU must also help finance, even up to 75 percent of the value of such projects, gas storage capacity and gas links in countries which are now most dependent on Russian gas sold by the state-owned Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

"Today, at least 10 EU member states depend on a single supplier - Gazprom - for more than half of their consumption. Some are wholly dependent on Russia's state-controlled gas giant," Tusk said.

The fourth element was the full use of the EU's existing fossil fuels, including coal and shale gas.

"In the EU's eastern states, Poland among them, coal is synonymous with energy security. No nation should be forced to extract minerals but none should be prevented from doing so - as long as it is done in a sustainable way," Tusk said.

The next element of the energy union would be to sign agreements to buy gas from exporters outside Europe - like the United States or Australia. It could be transported to Europe by ship in liquefied form, Tusk said.

Finally the EU should strengthen the existing Energy Community of the EU and eight of its eastern neighbours, created in 2005 to extend the European gas market eastward.

"True, this will require Europe's governments to take a unified position. But such feats of co-ordination have been achieved before," Tusk said.

European leaders already agreed in March to accelerate their quest for more secure energy supplies in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea and asked the executive European Commission to draw up detailed proposals by June on how to do that.

The EU has made progress in improving its energy security since gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when rows over unpaid bills between Kiev and Moscow led to the disruption of gas exports to western Europe. But so far, EU reliance on imported oil and gas, especially from Russia, has been rising, not falling.

EU statistics office Eurostat's energy dependence indicator, showing the extent to which EU relies on imports, crept up to 65.8 percent in 2012 from 63.4 percent in 2009.

The share of Russian gas rose to around 30 percent from 22 percent in 2010, whileRussia's oil imports accounted for around 35 percent of EU use.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Energy

Feds Delay LNG’s Port Ambrose Application

The US Coast Guard and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have temporarily suspended their review of the proposed Port Ambrose deep-water LNG import terminal.

Austal Graduates 48 4-Yr Apprentices

Austal USA combined two classes to graduate a total of 48 members of Austal’s cutting-edge four-year apprenticeship program yesterday at a formal ceremony held at the Arthur R.

Mexico Unveils National Strategy ahead of Paris Climate Talks

Mexico on Friday said it will cap its greenhouse gas emissions by 2026, becoming one of the first countries to formally submit its national climate plan the

LNG

JV Wins $2bln Freeport LNG Contract in US

A joint venture (JV) between CB&I, Chiyoda International and Zachry Industrial has won a contract worth over $2bn from FLNG Liquefaction 3 for a liquefied natural

Feds Delay LNG’s Port Ambrose Application

The US Coast Guard and the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) have temporarily suspended their review of the proposed Port Ambrose deep-water LNG import terminal.

GAIL Seeks 7 LNG Cargoes

GAIL (India) will buy seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for delivery from October 2015 until December 2016, according to the tender document obtained by Reuters.

News

Is China Building a Naval Base in Africa?

Recently, The Namibian reported the existence of a "confidential letter from Namibia's ambassador to China, Ringo Abed, to Namibia's foreign minister stating that

JV Wins $2bln Freeport LNG Contract in US

A joint venture (JV) between CB&I, Chiyoda International and Zachry Industrial has won a contract worth over $2bn from FLNG Liquefaction 3 for a liquefied natural

Puerto Rico Readies for Largest Cruise Ships

Thanks to a pier expansion and enhancement, Puerto Rico will welcome the two largest cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, in 2016.

People in the News

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season

Austal Graduates 48 4-Yr Apprentices

Austal USA combined two classes to graduate a total of 48 members of Austal’s cutting-edge four-year apprenticeship program yesterday at a formal ceremony held at the Arthur R.

Chile Desert Rains Sign of Climate Change

The heavy rainfall that battered Chile's usually arid north this week happened because of climate change, a senior meteorologist said, as the region gradually

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2290 sec (4 req/sec)