Chapter 3: Setting of relationships with natural gas producers
Despite visible integration efforts, the European gas market continues to present itself as a two-dimensional market, encompassing a national and a European level. Although the Member States’ gas markets have been opened to competition, they continue to remain different and separated from the neighbouring gas markets. According to Eurostat’s most recent report on EU energy and transport in figures, 60.3 per cent of the EU gas consumption in 2008 was ensured via imports, out of which Russian gas exports accounted for 34 per cent of the total quantity imported. Eurostat figures and the International Energy Agency’s reference scenario show that Europe is heavily dependent on gas imports, which are estimated to grow from 51 per cent in 2000 to 81 per cent in 2030. Fortunately enough, the EU is surrounded by over 60 per cent of world’s gas resources, to which it has access through pipelines or LNG tanks. The EU’s relationship with external gas producers is highly influenced by the geographical distribution of natural gas resources and the specific gas dependencies of the Member States. A quarter of all the energy consumed in the EU is represented by natural gas and almost a fifth of this quantity corresponds to Germany’s inland consumption. Some of the Member States possess natural gas resources and others have the potential to develop unconventional gas.
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