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France could “eventually” do without Russian gas

France could “eventually” do without Russian gas

“Eventually, yes. The question is in what term, ”said the president of the French energy giant Engie, Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, at the microphone of France Inter. He then indicated that France was “probably able to reduce very significantly” its dependence on Russian gas within “three or four years”, while the European Union is looking for alternatives to reduce its dependence. energy to Russia.

Its routing, in fact, relies on a whole infrastructure network (gas pipelines, liquefaction facilities, etc.) that is complex to set up, indicated Jean-Pierre Clamadieu. “The reality of the moment is that there is a lot of gas arriving in Europe, the gas contracts, including Russian ones, are rather at very high delivery levels”, underlined the president of Engie.

Already several batteries of sanctions against Russia since the end of February

Warning at the end of March that France would need Russian gas “in the medium or long term”, and deferring the decision to European governments, the French energy giant has gradually changed its position on the question. “If we had to face a sudden interruption, it’s a scenario that is much more difficult, and will require adjustments that will probably also be brutal,” warns Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, however.

Seeking to diversify its supplies, the group signed a 15-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract at the beginning of May with the American NextDecade, even if a postponement of LNG will not make it possible to obtain “quantities enough to replace” Russian gas for now.

The European Union has sanctioned Russia in five successive rounds of sanctions since the start of the war in Ukraine at the end of February. It decided to stop its coal purchases and turned to suppliers in the United States to offset a third of its Russian gas supply, estimated in total at 150 billion m3. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, European imports of gas, oil and coal have brought in 44 billion euros for the Kremlin, indicates a study by Crea, a think tank based in Finland.

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