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HomeNEWS AND MEDIA2008 Berlin SessionPRESS RELEASES24 May 2008 - EUROPE WILL NOT BE SHORT OF GAS IN COMING YEARS

24 May 2008 - EUROPE WILL NOT BE SHORT OF GAS IN COMING YEARS

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Between now and 2030, Europe will probably not undergo any shortfall in the supply of natural gas, in particular from Russia, stated Roland Götz, a researcher at the German Institute for International Affairs and Security, on Saturday in Berlin. “Unlike oil, there will probably be no gas supply problems in Europe for the next 20 years,” said Mr Götz during the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA).


While during this period European demand for gas is likely to increase significantly, Russia will probably remain Europe’s principal energy supplier, on the basis in particular of major reserves represented by the gas fields in the Jamal peninsula (in Eastern Siberia) and the Shtokman field in the Barents sea. Furthermore, Europe will also be able to benefit from growing imports from other supplier countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Caspian region, or from Iran, explained Mr Götz. Also, in his view there are no geopolitical risks in the diversification of the delivery of the gas, given the density of the network of gas pipelines linking Russia to Europe. Mr Götz considers that this analysis is reinforced by the prospect of gas pipeline projects such as North Stream, intended to link Russia to Germany by running under the Baltic, and Nabucco, planned to bring natural gas from Central Asia and Azerbaijan to Central Europe.

At the NATO PA’s Science and Technology Committee, Mr Götz took questions from several parliamentarians. Responding to the Spanish MEP Teresa Riera Madurell, the researcher stressed that there was a mutual interdependence between Russia and Europe in the energy sector, having to do not only with Europe’s need for supply, but also with the indispensable market that Europe represents for Russia. Another parliamentarian took the view that it was essential to separate gas prices from oil prices, with oil now at around $135 a barrel. But in the view of the researcher, the linkage between the prices of the two energy types has given excellent results, in that it avoids the need for constant struggles to set gas prices. Moreover, if the price of oil increases, that facilitates the production of gas, according to Mr Götz.

The Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which has brought together some 340 parliamentarians from the 26 NATO member countries, delegates from 16 associate States plus two Mediterranean associate countries, as well as observers from the European Parliament and parliaments from several other countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan, will continue until 27 May in the Reichstag in Berlin.

 

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