EU To Step Up Fracking And Efficiency In Response To Ukraine Crisis

  • Date: 22/05/14
  • Gerard Wynn, Responding to Climate Change

The European Union aims decisively to shift away from dependence on Russian gas imports, following previous failed attempts, according to a draft European Commission document on energy security.

The Ukraine crisis has deepened European jitters over gas imports, where Russia is its single biggest supplier.

The European Commission note mentioned the word “solidarity” seven times, in a draft note whose final version would be published in June, titled “European Energy Security Strategy –  Comprehensive plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence.”

“The EU and its Member States have an overriding priority: ensure that best possible preparation and planning improve resilience to sudden disruptions in energy supplies, that strategic infrastructures are protected and that the most vulnerable Member States are collectively supported,” it said. [...]

It called for increased gas storage in the short-term, to prepare for possible disruption in the coming winter to Russian gas transiting through Ukraine, and the development of reverse flows through gas pipelines to allow a more flexible routing of gas to where it was most needed.

It also underlined the need for a diversification of gas supplies. That included exploitation of domestic shale gas, and imports from alternative suppliers, with more imports of liquefied natural gas, for example from Qatar and in future the United States.

“Producing oil and gas from unconventional sources in Europe, and especially shale gas, could partially compensate for declining conventional production, providing issues of public acceptance and environmental impact are adequately addressed.”

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