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?

EU Long-Term Gas Supply Contracts with Russia

EU Long-Term Gas Supply Contracts with Russia from 2023 to 2040Source: CEDIGAZ

Gazprom’s retroactive declaration of force majeure on July 14th for supplies gradually suspended since June 14th, and President Vladimir Putin’s decree mandating payment in roubles for Russian gas, resulted in legal cases that cast doubts over the validity of these contracts.

However, according to legal expert Ana Stanic, the above circumstances are not by themselves sufficient to justify a contractual breach. Resolving these issues is complex and must be approached on a case-by-case basis, given the unique specificities of each contract.

In addition to legal disputes, many other aspects – including political, commercial and climate-driven policy – must be taken into account. Furthermore, views that Russian gas imports may resume one day also raise questions over the framework of future trade between Europe and Russia, if any.

Cedigaz’s report provides valuable insights into these intricate and evolving issues, offering a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the EU in its quest for energy independence and security.

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You may also be interrested in our report: ‘Russian gas in Europe: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’, an in-depth analysis of recent developments and prospects in Europe-Russia gas relations

CEDIGAZ maintains a unique Pipeline Supply Contracts dataset covering long-term contracts destined to Europe.  This meticulously curated collection covers an extensive period from 1966 to 2046, encompassing 71 active contracts with key European buyers. Ideal for industry analysts, energy strategists, and policy advisors, this dataset is a critical tool for comprehending long-term trends, assessing market dynamics, and making informed decisions. Stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving energy sector with this invaluable resource.

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