According to LNG Intelligence, Europe was given a sharp reminder of the dangers to its energy supplies recently when Gazprom warned western Europe could be hit by gas shortages. The Russian gas provider said a long-running row with Ukraine could disrupt supplies to Europe this winter.
The fears were raised just before Russia hosts a meeting of the world’s major gas suppliers to set up an OPEC-style production cartel which could also push up the price of energy in Britain and Norway and elsewhere.
Energy experts warned that the two events demonstrated that Russia was using energy as a political weapon and argued Europe to fast switching to renewable energy sources in order to reduce its dependence on unpredictable hydrocarbon fuel suppliers.
Russia first fears of an energy “Cold War” two years ago and again last year when it threatened to cut off gas first to the Ukraine and then to Belarus. This time Russia is threatening Ukraine over an alleged $2bn of arrears. Such difficulties could push up prices for alternative gas supplies from Norway or elsewhere.