Europe, fearing war, scours the planet for LNG, but not enough is available to cure the energy crunch – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – February 10, 2022)

Europe is suddenly obsessed with liquefied natural gas, a minor but growing source of imported fuel that could play a key role in keeping the lights on if a Russian invasion of Ukraine triggers a sanctions battle.

Energy-starved Europe is already scouring the planet for LNG shipments to build its gas reserves and try to stop already painful prices from climbing even more. But energy analysts say there is no way Europe would be able to find enough LNG to meet its demands if Russia were to eliminate, or even reduce, gas exports.

“Even before the Russia-Ukraine geopolitical tension, the global LNG market was very tight,” said Jack Sharples, a research fellow with the gas research program at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, in an interview.

“We in Europe are not suffering from a physical shortage of gas at the moment, though we are aware that if any particular source of supply were to falter, we would find it difficult to replace it.”

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