Could Russian pipeline gas return to Europe?

An analysis of EU-Russian Long-Term Gas Contracts

The European Union’s ambitious plans to cut Russian gas from its energy mix by 2027, following the aggression of Ukraine, have stirred significant uncertainty around the future of long-term gas supply contracts with Russia’s state-owned Gazprom.

According to the Cedigaz database on long-term pipeline contracts, more than 100 billion cubic meters of gas are tied up in agreements between Gazprom and European buyers, most not expiring before 2030 to 2035.

This begs a pivotal question: could Russian pipeline gas flow back to Europe under these contracts?


Cedigaz has released its updated Long-Term Pipeline Gas Supply Contracts in Europe Database.

Unsurprisingly, given the present context of uncertain demand and looming gas bubble, with Europe as a whole well (over?) contracted in long-term supply contracts, the present update shows little difference from the previous, one-year old version. Indeed, no new contract was added to the database.

Long-Term Pipeline Supply Contracts in Europe dominated by Russia

The recently disclosed update of Cedigaz’ database on Long-Term Pipeline Supply Contracts in Europe shows limited contractual activity during the past 12 months. Since the database’s last update in June 2014, only 3 new contracts, all with UK buyers, have been identified by Cedigaz for a total volume of 6.56 bcm/yr. with durations ranging from 6 to 10 years. This contrasts with the 18.3 bcm/yr. contracted or renewed in 2013, including 10 bcm/yr. of Shah Deniz contracts and the extension for 4 years (until the end of 2017) of the 6.2 bcm/yr. between Gazprom and Panrusgaz (Hungary).

Contracts in force in Europe[1]

At the beginning of 2015, Cedigaz’s database lists 110 contracts in force in Europe representing 410 bcm/yr. (including intra-European contracts), of which 60 contracts (263 bcm/yr.) with countries outside Europe (Algeria, Azerbaidjan, Iran, Libya and Russia), 25 contracts with Norway for a total 87 bcm/yr. and 25 contracts (61 bcm/yr.) with other countries inside Europe (mainly Dutch contracts).