In a significant shift in energy dynamics, Spain has scaled up its imports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2023, hitting record highs. A mere 2.4% of Spain's total gas imports were from Russia in 2018. However, from January to October 2023, Russia emerged as the third-largest supplier of LNG to Spain, marking a sixfold surge in Spain's dependence on Russian LNG over five years.
Dramatic Increase in Demand
The country has procured around 60,770 GW·h of LNG from Russia this year, representing a 43% increase from the 42,453 GW·h bought during the same timeframe the previous year. This expansion occurred despite the European Union's sanctions on Russia.
The Spanish Energy Ministry has underscored the significance of preserving the long-term contract between Russia's Novatek and Spain's Naturgy, established in 2018. This agreement guarantees Spain a supply of Russian gas at prices beneath the market rates, playing a pivotal role in Spain's energy strategy.
Implication on the European Energy Market
The rise in Spain's Russian gas imports indirectly impacts the broader energy and trade dynamics in Europe. The cargo growth at the Port of Gdańsk amid the Ukraine war provides some context on these dynamics. Furthermore, the strengthening of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) and the commitment to cease oil and gas extraction and exploration offer insights into the global energy transition and policy dynamics, even if they do not directly address Spain's record Russian gas imports.