Europe requires greater infrastructure to cut reliance on Russian gas

(Reuters) - Europe will need to come up with more infrastructure if it is to replace Russian gas as thoroughly has it has crude oil, oil and gas executives said at an energy conference.

Europe's pipeline gas imports from Russia have dropped since Moscow's 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and the European Commission has called for nations to end its reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027.

But European Union countries have avoided sanctioning or banning imports of Russian gas or its liquefied natural gas (LNG). Some countries including Austria and Hungary remain significant buyers of the Russian fuel.

"Redirecting liquefied natural gas and building regas terminals are not long term solutions, Exxon Mobil XOM.N Vice President John Ardill said at the CERAWeek energy conference."

The company has discovered natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean and expects to begin an exploration drilling program next year, Ardill added.

"The infrastructure has not been there and is still not there. At this stage, Europe really could not cut off LNG," said Gunvor Chairman Torbjörn Törnqvist in separate remarks at the conference.

"Unlike in oil, Europe is a little bit more pragmatic when it comes to receiving Russian gas," Tornqvist said.

Gunvor continues to fulfill its long term contract to supply Russian LNG to Europe, but there is no room for Russian spot market LNG volumes, he said.


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