Outlook for Russian Pipeline Gas Imports into the EU to 2025

by Luca Franza

This paper is part of the series ‘CIEP Perspectives on EU Gas Market Fundamentals’. This series is the result of a comprehensive research project conducted in 2016 with a view to anticipate possible developments in gas supply and demand in the EU in the run-up to 2025 and discuss the sustainability of the EU’s diversification efforts.

The objective of this report is to discuss the main variables that will shape Russian gas supplies to the EU in the next decade. This is part of a broader outlook on European gas supply and demand in 2025, which also examines prospects for LNG and other pipeline supplies. This dedicated paper is devoted to Russian pipeline gas, given the country’s position as Europe’s main gas supplier and the important role that it will play in filling Europe’s widening supply-demand gap. Prospective exports of Russian LNG to Europe – particularly volumes from the Yamal LNG project – are covered by the study on LNG.

Three decisive trends appear to be affecting Russia’s commercial position in the EU gas market: 1) the recent decline in European gas demand and the uncertainty about future demand recovery and thus also about additional import needs; 2) the profound changes underway in the EU gas market since the onset of the liberalisation process, which notably include the breakup of incumbents, unbundling and non- discriminatory access to infrastructure, and the promotion of market-based pricing mechanisms – as well as Russia’s responses to these changes; and 3) renewed geopolitical tensions between the EU and Russia, fuelled by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The discussion is conducted through the lens of these trends.


Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP)

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