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Understanding the Gas Pipeline from Russia to Europe

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Gas pipeline from Russia to Europe

The European Union (FEZ) depends mostly on imports to meet the need for gas, and the European continent constitutes a significant portion of Russian gas exports. Russia’s (RSX) heightening tensions with Ukraine in recent years caused the energy supplier to consider other possible routes to Europe.

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European market important for Russian companies

The map above shows gas pipelines going from Russia to Europe. The pipeline passing through Ukraine has a capacity of 159.5 Bcm (billion cubic meters). The operation statistics in 2014 showed that the pipeline’s load fell by 50% compared to 2013. This can be attributed to the geopolitical issues and pricing disagreements that developed between Ukraine and Russia.

Meanwhile, the Nord Stream directly supplies gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The load on this pipeline rose significantly as the load on the pipelines passing through Ukraine fell. Germany is among the top trading nations of Russia in Europe apart from China in Asia. Most of Germany’s energy requirements are met by Russian exports. The pipeline that passes through Belarus connects to Polland. In 2014, Polland consumed 16.3 Bcm of natural gas. This pipeline operated with a capacity of 31.5 Bcm and was 100% operational in 2014.

Europe is a lucrative market for Russian gas manufacturer Gazprom Pao, as it derives more than 50% of its revenue from overseas. Gazprom Pao (OGZPY), Lukoil (LUKOY), and Tatneft (OAOFY) represent the large-cap Russian ADRs (American depositary receipts) in the oil and gas sector.

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