Home NEWS Spain relying on Russian gas as overall imports fall

Spain relying on Russian gas as overall imports fall

Spain relying on Russian gas as overall imports fall

Spain’s Minister of Energy, Teresa Ribera, poses for a portrait after an interview with Reuters at the ministry headquarters in Madrid, Spain, October 7, 2022. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

MADRID, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Spain is increasingly relying on Russian natural gas even though its overall imports are falling, government data showed on Friday.

Spain’s imports from Russia soared 65% in July from the same month a year ago, while the country imported 14% less gas during the month, Cores, an arm of the Energy and Environment Ministry, said in a statement.

As a result the share of Russian gas out of the total imports – Spain relies entirely on foreign gas – rose to 28% in July up from 14.5% in the same month in 2022.

Russia has become the second largest Spanish supplier after Algeria, which pumps gas to Spain through a pipeline across the Mediterranean. Imports from the main exporting countries such as Nigeria, Norway, Qatar and the United States fell in July.

In the first seven months of the year, Russian gas imports soared 70%, represented 21% of total imports, as Spain became Russia’s second largest customer.

Spain is not the only buyer of Russian gas in the European Union despite the bloc’s official goal of weaning itself from Russian fossil fuels within a few years

Between January and July, EU countries have imported about 40% more LNG from Russia compared with the same period in 2021, before the Ukraine war, an analysis by campaigners showed last week.

Overall imports of Russian natural gas have sunk since last year after Russia cut flows to Europe in response to sweeping Western sanctions on its economy and an explosion on the Nord Stream subsea pipelines.

On Friday in Brussels, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera from Spain, which holds the EU rotating presidency, said there is no plan to ban Russian LNG imports in the short term as such a move would trigger a price spike that could cripple the EU economy.

Reporting by Matteo Allievi, editing by Inti Landauro and David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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