Gas supply for the Europe to replace Russian sources has tuned into a main Achilles heel for the West. Russia may use privilege to thwart the western sanctions.
Few days before the start of Russian war against Ukraine, German Chancellor declared that Berlin will put a stop to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. The decision followed the deployment of Russian soldiers into eastern Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.
In the $11-billion Nord Stream 2 project, the Russian Gazprom connects Siberia to Germany and is owned. The initiative aimed at securing a sustain energy distribution for the EU block. Russia provides about 30% of Europe’s consuming gas supply.
With the deterioration of the offensive against Ukraine, gas prices have risen in Europe, and Moscow is threatening to cut off the supply. A main scenario is that Putin uses the move as a leverage over the Western powers in his adventure.
The Europe is trying to seek pathways out of the potential challenge and provide a backup supply. Washington has been discussing Qatar about delivering gas to the EU as a vital replacement for Russian supply.
However, a summit of gas exporting states in Doha revealed that the situation is far more serious than previously thought. In the case of Russian sanctions, GECF warned it would lack the technical and infrastructure measure to supply a significant volume of alternative gas supply to the EU.
They emphasized on the importance of substantial investment in oil and gas sector in order to ensure a huge gas supply in the long run. Besides, long-term deals should guarantee that the investment would lead to revenue.
Qatar has also rejected Washington’s call for replacement of Russian gas, describing it as impossible. Meanwhile, Western bloc is also considering other sources to resolve the potential challenge.
Alternative Gas Supply
The fate of a deadly war in Ukraine may be, in part, involved with conditions of Gas supply for the Europe. Russia can effectively thwart the all-out international sanctions by an initiative against the Europe.
As a result, a discussion has erupted about whether some African nations can fill the void. Africa boasts some of the largest global gas deposits. Russia has traditionally provided Europe with 150-190 billion cubic meters each year.
Tanzania’s government has stated that Russia’s incursion of Ukraine might offer a chance for the country’s gas sales. Tanzania has started the bid to acquire new non-African energy clients. “Whether Africa or Europe or America, we are looking for markets and fortunately, we are working with companies from Europe,” Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzanian president, explained.
Tanzania possesses Africa’s major gas resources with 1.6 billion cubic meters. The country claims it has been engaging with Shell to explore and transport its massive undersea gas.
Nigeria, holding Africa’s largest gas supply has aspirations of similar kind. “We want to build a pipeline, a trans-Sahara pipeline, that is going to take our gas to Algeria, then to Europe,” Nigeria’s junior petroleum minister said at Qatari forum.
The latest completion of an MoU with Algeria and the Niger Republic has bolstered Nigeria’s remarks. The assertions are backed up by the current building of Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline, a 381.5-mile gas pipeline that starts in northern regions of Nigeria.
Experts believe that Sub-Saharan Africa, compared with northern African states, have fallen back concerning energy infrastructure. A major part of African states with massive gas reserves lack investment and infrastructure.
By and large, Africa seems an unreliable source of gas supply for Europe in the current critical condition. The initiative needs long years to work as a replacement for Russian gas.